It's not often one feels nauseous and inspired at the same time. But it happened to me this morning.
Then I wanted to puke.
A passenger smelling of strong Clorox and soy sauce sat next to me no sooner than I was four or five paragraphs deep into said article. I thought to pack up and flee. But the article was engaging -- and it was a packed train -- and I was hemmed up in a precarious corner. Where was I going to go?
Then it hit me.
-- Another waft of funk. :/
But even more engrossing, it was the article I was reading that hit me with an observation and an acknowledgment about what readers really want.
It's something I think about all the time as I brainstorm ways to engage more interaction on this very site.
As a team, we're always reaching out to fellow Skillologists asking questions: just how can we involve members more to advocate the ideals of Skillology's manifesto? How can we effectively encourage our members with useful content? And plainly stated, how can we make this sucker go viral and create a large, robust community?
Reading the article inspired a few good nuggets on this subject, some of which may seem obvious to you. But sometimes we miss the low hanging fruit when we're consumed with lofty goals and debilitating perfectionism.
I'm convinced, however, that what readers really want is fresh relatable content. What readers don't want is stodgy, pacified advice void of personality.
I'm especially mindful of this now.
Skillologists want stories.
We want real-world "behind-the-scenes" perspective on the common challenges we all face as creative professionals.
We want transparency.
And, we want to feel connected to the material we're viewing at a personal level.
That's the low hanging fruit.
Think about whatever it is you're working on and ask yourself -- what's the story behind my creation? What’s the story behind the obstacle I’m facing or the success I’m experiencing?
Share your story.
No matter how pretty you package your product or service (or content) -- if it doesn't capture people's interest at an emotional level, it's simply not going to stick. Worst, you'll be left scratching your head in bewilderment like a squirrel without a nut.
And no one wants to be a nut-less bewildered squirrel.
This very concept is something the Skillology team has come to terms with while slowly refining the focus of Skillology over the past year, and it's particularly relevant to anyone creating engaging, useful content to market or sell their creative works.
As producers of Skillology, we want members to feel empowered with the insights and the tools to achieve their own enterprising creative goals -- to make the creative shift.
Of course, we don't have all the answers.
And like many of you, we're faced with the same daunting challenges encountered when launching a new endeavor: staying motivated, overcoming obstacles, learning to delegate, handling disagreements, competing with limited resources... you see?
We're learning as we go. And hopefully you are too.
But let's talk more about these challenges and our individual experiences along the way.
We're all in a unique position to learn together and to share lessons. And that, my friends, is social networking with a purpose!
So, here's my personal appeal to you, the Skillology community: let's get personal.
Let's be transparent. And let's embark on a fun and productive journey together -- one community of motivated entrepreneurs.
In 2012, let’s make the creative shift.
From the entire Skillology team, have a happy holiday season and a momentous New Year!
P.S. One of the articles I read on the train this morning is an example of a really great engaging, humorous story! You can read it here: http://deadspin.com/5865596/confessions-of-a-terrible-father