I know, I know, the over used line from Hamlet has been beaten to death by writers and marketeers. But I am a writer and a marketeer.
Several years ago, once Blog became a commonly used word, I of course started a blog using Blogger. I wrote about my travels, both for work and for fun. My audience consisted of my dad, my brother and my aunt Rita.
Thus, when Creative COW made blogs available, I was eager to get started. Initially, I thought I'd write about my early experiences in production. But after a few posts, I had used up the major experiences of my training. Then I switched to travels and shoots, but again, there are only so many really interesting stories to tell without getting repetitive.
Thus, I have more recently written about whatever comes to mind, but always trying to stay relevant to some aspect of media production or business, or the business of media production.
After a few months, and some fun posts, I was invited by fellow COW Nick Griffin to be a co-moderator of the Business and Marketing forum here.
It turns out, readers of the blogs and readers of the forums are not actually the same people. I think Google has something to do with this. Speaking of which, before the blog started, my name was just one of a thousand Mike Cohens in a Google search. Now I am number 11, top of the 2nd page of results. This is actually an improvement since the last time I checked. Actually, I also have the #16 spot for my Vimeo page - if only I knew how Google came up with these results.
Thus, I now contribute to the Business and Marketing forum's discussions, some of the best on this site in my biased opinion.
Fast forward to February of 2008, I was asked to write an article for the Creative COW magazine, yet another piece of the COW pie with its own audience of readers. COW pie? Seriously? Let's move on.
After some great editorial work by Tim Wilson, and Ron's ability to layout an entire magazine in a few days, the issue (#9) went to press over the Summer. Download your copy here:
Or subscribe for free.
Now the fun begins. I have received a few e-mails from former colleagues and freelancers I have worked with, saying they read and enjoyed the article on Medical Video production, one of my specialties.
Next I received a few e-mails from folks who have both read the blog and the article, either asking me for a job, or just to say hi. After a blog about using my music library, I got a nice letter and some promotional gifts from the music library. Also, my blog encouraged one of my readers to subscribe to the same music library - no small investment by the way. In fact this guy is now my friend, although we have never actually met. We did graduate from the same program a decade apart.
Finally, there have been a few posts on the Business and Marketing forum from people who have either read the blog or the magazine, or both. In fact a surgeon who I did not know was given a copy of the magazine, read my article, then contacted me through the forum.
Thus, while Creative COW has distinct audiences, with some overlap, for the Blogs, the Forums, the Magazines, and presumably the newsletter (I found through a Google search that I was in a newsletter - sorry guys, I don't always read them since I am on the site so often), I have experienced the effects of crossovers among the audiences and the outlets of distribution (forums, blogs, etc).
I would encourage anyone who has stumbled upon the Blogs, either via a web search or an outside link, to check out the forums, even just to introduce yourself, or to ask a question. Cows are gentle creatures, although we can also get excited about topics we like. The forums are an especially great place for young people or those just getting into the production business, even hobbyists, to ask questions and seek advice. However you are better served for asking "how do I do XYZ with a particular program" versus asking "how do I edit? I don't know what I'm doing."
So, going back to my headline, To Blog or Not to Blog...I think the answer is clear.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Tim for the suggestion.