Blogwise Blog on Blogging Bloggily

In response to a recent [Frame] thread on the pros and cons of a website vs. a blog for the framebuilding set...

- You need both, ideally. They can serve two different purposes and two different sets of clients.

- As has been discussed, there's a chasm of difference between writing a blog and writing a blog *for money* (or as part of a larger business plan/marketing strategy).
Doing it without involving money is great. I write this having failed at a meager attempt to turn blogging about framebuilding into a money-making proposition. It's more enjoyable this way, and anyway, about 30 people a week keep coming back for more.

- What one is doing by having an 'internet presence' is building a name for oneself, not selling bike frames. The Flickr, the blog, participation on the [Frame] list--none of it needs to be (directly) about making a buck. It's about building a brand for oneself, which is in turn part of making a buck. See, I'm building my brand right now, just by typing this, and I'm not even trying to sell anybody anything (yet).

In business school terms:
- A strong brand creates a competitive advantage that is wholly inimitable. No one but Jon Q. Builder can produce a "Jon Q. Builder" frame, because the value of the frame is tied to the reputation of the maker.
- Even, say, Wal-Mart* doesn't have such a good competitive advantage, because, with enough money and resources, anyone could copy Wal-Mart's business plan.  In contrast, a "Jon Q." is inherently more valuable than a non-"Jon Q.", even if the latter is cheaper or has a shorter lead time.
- The brand and the presence are assets with real dollar values (although calculating the exact values is a different story). If Jon Q.'s web presence is competitive, then it will be a stable asset.

- The world of professional art is full of people who understand how to gracefully cultivate a brand. Besides that, it's loads of white wine.

- Richard Sachs is the prime example of a 'presence'. Go see how often he posts to his Flickr. Jonny Cycles also comes to mind, ever since he got that fancy digital-camera-direct-Flickr-uploader thingy.

- There is a staggering quantity of framebuilding-related web content being produced. It's impossible to keep up with. There's easily a couple hundred blogs and Flickr streams. I'd bet that number has at least doubled in the 2.5 years I've been on this list. Don't get scared, though. Just figure out what you can offer that nobody else can.

All this is part of why the post about Chris Zanotti has been removed.

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