Blogging for World Domination
Do you remember the bad guy from the early James Bond movies? The one with the white cat? Blofeld was his name. If you really want to become a popular blogger you must aim for world domination! Imagine yourself to impersonate the typical villain 007 fights against. What do you need to make a global audience aware of your evil plans?
I strongly recommend not to use nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction the typical movie villain would use. You still want to keep your audience and not to annihilate it do you?
So you have to use tactics to capture the imagination of a global audience that are less destructive while at the same time as spectacular. Also remember that your message must spread globally. In order to achieve this you have to take heed to several aspects of online publishing that others can ignore. Most notably you have to break down language barriers.
Write in English. This might be obvious to you if you already write in English or rather if you can only write in English in the first place but for non-native speakers like myself it isn't. Germany is a very tough place to blog. Most people do not take blogs seriously and blogging is very limited due to laws similar to China. For instance you are not allowed to blog anonymously anymore. You are forced to give away your street address etc. so many bloggers have already been targeted by lawyers or some even by fascists.
A German court ruling even says that you are not allowed to publish comments on blogs before checking them for illegal activities like potential slander.
That said the German blogosphere is small and not really beautiful. If you blog in German you are quite lucky if you have more than 100 subscribers or more than 500 visitors a day. The local social media isn't of much help either.
Besides the fact that while you have around 100 million potential readers you only reach thousands if you're lucky in German you won't even reach the people a few miles away behind the border. For instance I live and work in Berlin, one hour away by car from Poland. Nobody will read your blog in Poland if you write it in German. So if you want to write for an global audience you have to write in English.
This might be evident too but while most of you will imagine to write in plain English already most of you aren't. I did American Studies in college and started learning English back in fifth grade so my English is quiet good by now, but still I do not understand everything people write. Plain means you should use
- short sentences,
- simple words like do, have, is
- no idioms, "dark horse" is one, everybody will wonder why you write about horses
- no colloquial language, like with idioms, colloquial language is even more of a problem, a while ago I had to look up what "crack me up" means
- no omissions, instead of writing "hybrid" you have to write "hybrid car" as outside of the US most people won't even know what a hybrid is
Read a novel by Paul Auster to see how plain English is used to convey complex meaning.
encourage translation by writing in English, plain English and expressing gratitude towards those who translate your postings. In fact some of my posts have been translated in multiple languages and I am very proud of it. The last one to be translated was the SEO vs SEO 2.0 comparison. It's available in Spanish, Polish and Portuguese by now.
The use of images can effectively bridge any language barriers. This might be the most obvious thing but if you have an image in your post even a visitor who does not really understand English might wonder what it is about and translate it.
While the Bush administration only agrees with Iran on the death penalty and that nuclear weapons are vital for self defense Iran and Iranians are vilified to an extent I remember from my history lessons about world war II. I do not buy into this. Iranians are people like us or rather they are even more friendly than we are it seems.
SEO 2.0 was twice on the front page of Iranian Digg Balatarin. If you want to be read all over the world you can't ignore the cultural differences while acknowledging that we are all part of the same human "race". You have to be open minded enough to accept difference as something valuable.
Choose topics that unite people all over the world, topics that matter all over the world. Arts, photography, peace, love, astronomy, technology and yes money are just a few of them. I even sometimes "read" Iranian Web 2.0 blogs.
International social media
Do not limit yourself to English only social media like Digg. On Digg non-English sites fail They are buried and banned. We have very strong social media in Spanish, French or Polish and these will also feature English posts. A front page appearance on Polish Wykop for instance can bring you more than 10.000 visitors although Poland has roughly a population of 40 million (I count poles abroad like myself too).
Do not ignore the rest of the world while publishing online or blogging! It does not make sense. The Internet is hailed as one of the positive driving forces of globalization while it's becoming more and more nation or language oriented again, partly due to Google promoting local results from each country.
You must be a citizen of the world to aim for world domination! Conquer the world without nuclear weapons. Fascinate the people with what matters most to them, universal human values.
Btw. did you know that I will conquer the world and enslave the global population with my advanced SEO 2.0 hypnosis? Meeeooow!