SXSWi notes: Dooce and Mighty Girl

On Sunday at SXSWi, I dropped in on Heather Armstrong  (aka Dooce) and Maggie Mason (Mighty Girl) presenting their 12-step guide to  content boundaries. Some folks have already blogged about this here, and here.

I arrived to the panel late, but a few points stuck out.

  • Create a style guide for tones. Are you light-hearted, serious, alarmist, wonky, or funny? With social media, you can be all these things! But consistency is important. Spend some time sketching out a style guide for tones. Is your Flickr account playful or whimsical? Your website, authoritative? Your blog, snarky or investigative?
  • Publish for the readers you want, not the ones you have. For nonprofits, try profiling your ultimate activist or supporter. What are their interests? What excites them? How can you attract their attention in this increasingly crowded playing field? Sometimes, these questions are best answered by looking around at your staff. How did they get involved in your organization, and what excites them about their work?
  • Follow the Fun. You have to do what you’re excited and passionate about. Lack of authenticity is the kiss of death in social media. Blog posts that are written with that spark–the animation of an author’s own curiousity–will always outperform posts written on a deadline. You simply can’t fake passion.
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