What Drives Your Blog?


manI don’t know how many of you read Denis Jones’ daily thoughts. I do, and I’m happy I discovered his site.

Today’s thought is entitled “Who is in charge here?” and it is about the locus of control.

The locus of control is a concept in between psychology and sociology, related to where individuals conceptually place responsibility, choice, and control for events in their lives. It distinguishes between two common approaches, which place the actual control either internal or external to the person themselves. (Wikipedia)

So, according to your locus of control, you can be an “internal”, attributing events to your own control, or you can be an “external”, attributing events in your life to external circumstances.

Denis pushes this theory one step further, associating “internals” with actors and “externals” with victims:

Your locus of control answers the question, “Who’s in charge here?” If you have an internal locus of control, you are telling yourself and the world that you are in charge of your life. You are an actor. If you have an external locus of control you are telling yourself and the world that the world is in charge of your life. In essence, you make yourself a victim. Now, who is going to do better at making changes in their life, the actor or the victim?

The answer to that question is self-evident. If you are a victim, if you believe the external world controls you, you won’t even try to change the things in your life with which you are unhappy. You will continue to live as you always have lived because you can not see that trying to change anything will have a positive outcome. Being a victim is a hard way to live. You guarantee that what you do will be ineffective.

Back to blogging: did you ever think what drives your blog? Is it an “internal”, is it in charge with its own evolution, or is it rather an “external”, driven by happenings which are out of your control?

Maybe we all read certain famous blogs, trying to learn from the best. But what do we take home to our blog from all that wisdom? Do we take the motivation and the positive spirit which keeps us going on, or do we try to step in our models’ footprints, hoping that success is the sum of all these small elements which we try so hard to copy?

Neither of these two ways is wrong. NLP has proven modeling to work well when it comes to reproducing performance.

A “modeling project” involves spending time studying and observing in depth, discussing, and imitating and practicing many different aspects of the subject’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors (ie, acting “”as if” the modeler is the expert) until the modeler can replicate these with some consistency and precision. Once this has been achieved, the modeler then refines the target skills by removing certain features to eventually discover the essential features distinguishing average performance and top performance, thus building a learnable/transferable model, and tests it by seeing if it can be taught. The aim of NLP modeling is to discover the elements of what the expert is doing that the expert is not aware of. (Wikipedia)

So, modeling goes beyond the simple replication of, let’s say, a blog layout. Web 2.0 is a spirit, an attitude, a state of mind. Simply throwing some “web 2.0 elements” in your blog design doesn’t open the web 2.0 world for you. Of course, such elements are a sign that your blog may belong to this “group”, but if your content is not in this spirit, readers will know it.

An example of “internal” blog is StevePavlina.com. It is obvious that Steve has the control, that his blog is not driven by external factors, but by his personal visions and thoughts.

An example of “external” blog is Lifehacker.com. Lifehacker is driven by external factors, news, helpful articles, new software releases. This doesn’t make it less useful. It is a great resource of getting things done.

Now that we decided there’s no wrong answer, close your eyes for a second and think about what drives your blog.