Frank Lloyd Wright is renowned as one of the great American architects. He created, for example, the lovely “lily pad” environment in the Johnson Wax building, where strong, tall pillars meet a ceiling that lets natural light flit into the huge main room. There’s something interesting about Frank Lloyd Wright though. Despite his fame as an architect who could create unforgettable exteriors and luxurious interiors, almost everything he designed has suffered, at one point or another, from serious structural problems. Ceilings in his buildings leak. Foundations in his buildings crumble. Is beauty enough to certify someone as a master? Does structure not really matter?
The same question holds true for blogging
There’s no shortage of advice on how to create powerful content, content that will inspire people to do what you want, content that will make people buy anything from you that you want them to buy. There are a lot of people around who excel at this kind of content creation. You could wrap yourself in their words. Their blog posts are like the richest chocolate fudge, filled with ideas and inspiration. There’s an increasingly common problem, though. The structure, like in Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, is shaky. Instead of leaky ceilings and crumbling foundations, many blogs suffer from poorly constructed sentences, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and more.
Blogging is writing, right, Wright?
It seems like blog readers are in the same school as fans of Frank Lloyd Wright. Grammar and spelling are not enough to get in the way of the essence of a blog post. If someone has a really good idea, and especially if someone has lots of good ideas, they can get away with confusing its and it’s. They can escape without a tongue lashing when they have a paragraph filled with sentences that don’t really make sense. If the blog post focuses on an idea or a concept that is new and refreshing, you can get away with linguistic murder.
Maybe I’m an insufferable perfectionist, but this bothers me. This bothers me a lot. Am I alone?
It seems to me that if we are moving towards a culture of content marketing and content creation, we should be really clear on what qualifies as good content. Are we moving to a point where the idea carries the day, so much so that the technical details of those ideas are presented don’t matter? Is communication moving to a “close enough” model? Is blogging becoming something other than a type of writing?
So what is a blog master?
What is more important in a blog post? Is it the idea that is presented or is it how the idea is presented? Can you skate past spelling errors if the idea is really compelling? Can you not get past grammar mistakes to even identify if an idea is good? What is our measurement of mastery in this space? I’d love to hear your opinion.
Image by Svilen Milev. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/svilen001