The blog reviewed here is Seth Godin’s Blog. Looking at a TIME 2009 list of the top 25 blogs here I saw Seth Godin’s blog mentioned and was intrigued. I had listen to one of Seth Godin’s audiobooks and so this had already raised my level of awareness. Some of his work relates to the changes that technology is bringing to culture and such changes have the potential to influence not just health but also illness. So I anticipated that there were a few lessons which might be usefully brought over to the psychiatry blogosphere. I didn’t have the time to read the entire blog which dates back to 2002 so I’ve based my review on a relatively small sample of articles from each year which might bias the review towards the articles first retrieved on clicking on an archived month link.
Appearance and Design
The blog has a very simple design. There is a white background and a central pane featuring the articles on the right and navigation elements on the left. The articles are dated but not comment enabled or category tagged (that I could see). There is a retweet option at the end of an article with a rather impressive number of retweets in the articles that I saw on the hompage (1086 in one article) at the time of writing. There is also a facebook ‘like’ option with a similar volume of people who have indicated that they like the articles. There are also e-mail and feed options. The articles on the homepage tended to be mainly text although there is an occasional colour picture to support the text. On the right side there are some neat features. All of Godin’s books are colourfully illustrated and clicking on them will take the reader to another page which links to booksellers. Recent posts, other webpages and articles archived by month are accessible through the sidebar as well as a google search option for the blog. Clicking on Godin’s head at the top of the page will take the reader through to some link options!
On looking at some of the early posts in January 2002, Godin has already published at least one of his books and refers to another. Indeed on checking the wikipedia page on Godin he had already published his first book in 1995 and had success with the website Squidoo meaning that he has mastered several media formats by the time of the first archived article on the blog. The articles cover a wide variety of material and some of Godin’s spontaneity is exemplified in the following extract from this post
‘Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been traveling. Which is the inspiration for this piece’
This further supports the suggestion that in Godin’s blog we are just getting a very small glimpse of Godin’s much ‘larger world’. Godin’s uses language in a very accessible way and is not afraid to tackle politics, marketing, spam or discuss other blogs (even in a few lines), inviting people to be in his book, interesting websites, tracking blog talk, and rules for generating ideas worth spreading. Godin engages in an almost informal dialogue with his readers in which he gives his opinions. The articles tend to focus on technology and marketing but along the way we are able to learn how people manage in this fast-changing world.
This is a light-hearted and at times serious blog in which Godin keeps his finger on the pulse on one aspect of modern american culture which through the internet is relevant to other parts of the world. One impression I had on reviewing this blog, is that I think there has been a lot of benefit from the crossover into books. Both Dan Carlat and Shrinkrap have been doing this while Godin is able to make effective use of these other media formats on his blog. However Godin himself has developed sophisticated approaches to his ‘projects’ for want of a better word in which books are launched with entire website or marketing novelties which make them ‘events’. I got the impression that Godin’s blog is not as much about the material being considered as it is about the ‘world’ that Godin has created. Perhaps there is another lesson to be had here.
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