A friend asked me a couple of weeks ago if blogs were passé. Some are, sure. There are thousands of dead blogs and retired, dispassionate bloggers. Blog readers have become more selective and demanding. The result? Better blogs.
We’ve reared back from the “everyone must blog” culture and filtered down to some really interesting, sometimes short-term, but definitely purposeful blogs. The difference? They’re interesting. Well-written. Often, they cover a specific topic, time period, experience, series, etc. Like a book, a blog can be seen as a body of work. The good ones are cohesive.
An example that came to my attention this week was written about in the New York Times. In it, a middle class, white family in South Africa moves from their comfortable suburban home to the slums for a month. Their blog about the experience, Mamelodi for a Month http://mamelodiforamonth.co.za has inspired controversy. Sometimes referred to as “extreme empathy” this is the kind of experiential content that launched the career of Morgan Spurlock, of Supersize Me, the man who ate nothing but food from McDonald’s for 30 days. Spurlock then created the series, 30 Days — a documentary project that featured individuals being inserted into communities that had completely different values, belief systems, religions, cultural ideas or professions.
Extreme empathy is definitely a blog trend, and certainly creates interesting and sometimes controversial content for the consumer. Is there a way you can insert extreme empathy into your blogging, either personally or as a corporation? What can we learn from those who undertake the giant leap out of their comfort zone, in order to report back to the rest of us from the “other side?”