Well, here we are. The last post of this August series. And I’m setting up to deliver some hard lessons I learned. Kind of mean, huh?
The thing is, this post appeared very differently in my head when Nancy Davis first gave me the idea. She simply said, “Can you do a post about how the Blues Brothers movie ties into Social Media?” I thought it was a gimme. A fun post that I would enjoy writing and that hopefully you would enjoy reading (Ideally). A few days ago I started thinking about it. What angle exactly would I take? What facets of the movie would I use?
Then I realized a fundamental problem. Although I am entirely familiar with the concept of this film, I have never actually sat down and watched the whole thing. I don’t actually know it well enough to write the kind of post Nancy wanted.
Now Here’s the Really Interesting Part
As this realization came upon me, my initial reaction was, “Dude, you can totally fake that.” I could write a post just about the song Soul Man, somehow. I could write about how they made a sequel to the movie even though one of the stars, John Belushi, was no longer alive. I could grab “memorable quotes” from Wikipedia and/or IMDB.
I could totally fake it. No one would ever have to know. Except me.
Have You Been In Those Shoes?
Granted, faking a post about The Blues Brothers is not a sin so far as I know. The tenth commandment does not read, “Thou shalt not write a post based on a movie you actually have not watched.” But still, this whole process my brain went through kind of made me wonder.
How many people would fake it? How many people, more to the point, are faking it?
I mean, let’s face it, we’re all pressed for time. Just writing a post takes time. Researching it takes more time. Editing, then re-editing, then promoting and answering comments…it’s a big commitment, right? And if you are trying to build up your expertise in a given area, you are trying to do a whole ton of other things (I hope) in addition to blogging. So, maybe you throw together a post that contains some information you’re not 100% sure of. You figure if someone calls you on it you’ll ‘fess up. If no one calls you on it, fine. Move on.
It seems harmless, right? I mean, people don’t read your blog to learn the great truths of the universe, most likely. You can’t really do anyone harm.
What your blogging can do is build your credibility. It can motivate people to look to you as a resource. A trusted resource, in fact. Maybe, based on your blog, people are following you on Twitter now. Maybe they’ll follow you wherever you go because they trust your judgment and your online knowledge. If you’re faking it in a lot of your posts, what are you really setting those folks up for? Are you misguiding them without even knowing enough to know you’re doing so? That’s kind of scary, isn’t it? Are people going to be really bummed out when they find out you’re not as trustworthy or as knowledgeable as they thought? That can sting a little for a long time.
So, I opted not to fake it
After thinking about the ramifications of pretending to know things I don’t know, I opted to stand on ground I’m comfortable on. I can’t write the post Nancy was looking for, and that kind of frustrates me. I should have thought of all of that sooner. Then again, maybe this post, even though it is not exactly fun, or even funny, is what I was meant to write right from the start.
What do you think? Is it too easy and tempting to fake it on a blog site? Can you sense when people are blowing smoke? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Image by Bev Lloyd-Roberts. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/BeverlyLR