- Almost anything that I have been told was stupid to write, I also had others tell me that they thought it was cool. To me, I would much rather ensure I was memorable over avoiding risk.
- When you go outside of the conventional framework of what you are expected to do you are probably going to be more memorable than when you subscribe to a framework that everyone else subscribes to.
- People who have a strong emotional appeal to what you write are going to be far more likely to remember you and/or want to talk to you. Most others will just let it go.
- People subscribe to their own biases. We are constantly seeking things which reinforce our worldviews and identities. As long as you are fairly rational with what you write, those who disagree with it will usually tune it out. Those who agree with it will be more likely to remember it.
- People use language (and thus search) using queries that will likely indicate their biased worldviews. Thus they are not as likely to find your opinion if your political views differ from their own.
- People are more likely to link at things they can identify with. Just look at the most popular political blogs. Most of them are extremely biased.
- Many political bloggers are link rich. If you can create something that they will link at you soon will be too.
- People are more likely to link at thinks they think are totally screwed up. Even if people think your position is full of crap they may cite it because they want to say just how wrong you are.
- Politics generally is nothing but marketing and a game of double speak. The very fact that people react to it emotionally shows how strong the marketing is and how strongly people identify with it. It is important to understand how that language relates to marketing.
- If you let fears control your actions then you are guaranteed to produce watered down stuff.
- If you are full of crap in your worldview and have intelligent readers who care about you then audience feedback will help you quickly see other ways of viewing the world.
The four potential downsides with occasionally posting on politics and religion I have encountered thusfar are
- It may cost you some top down support, but I think it will get you more bottoms up support from people who find it easy to identify with who you are and where you come from. The bottoms up support will more than make up for the lack of top down support if you are small and passionate.
- If you post about politics too frequently it could alter the perception of your brand to be more about politics than your core value.
- You get death threats, etc. Some idiot has already offered me a dual. hehehe
- The death threats and ideological asshats may start to eat up some of your time and attention, and try their best to undermine your views of humanity and evolution.
But in the end, do I really want to help this person spread their belief system and control my life? Nope.
On Rand's blog he mentioned
The current political environment has exacerbated sterotypes and tensions in the political spectrum such that overarching assumptions about a person's qualities are built around even the smallest admission of idealogical leanings. For example, in the US specifically, those who put themselves far to the right of the political spectrum may create stereotypes of amorality, anti-family attitudes and military appeasement for those on the left. In the reverse, the accusations might be homophobia, racism, close-mindedness & lack of education. When you claim political affiliations of any kind, some of your readers/clients/colleagues are prone to jump to these type of conclusions.
There is an endless stream of amoral profit driven sources that will try to use fear to control your activities so that they may gain further wealth and influence. Why subscribe to thought control? Why let the close-mindedness and ignorance of others limit how you express yourself? I took to the web precisely because I didn't want to let others control my actions, how I express myself, or what I could say.
Only a couple hundred years ago slavery was an accepted practice here in the land of the free. Things are able to become much worse and take a much longer time to get better if people are afraid to talk about them. When you need to be a comedian to be honest doesn't it mean there is something wrong with our perspective of the world?
I probably post political stuff a bit more often than I should if I were focused on optimal conversion. I think if you do something rarely, but do it really well then you really get to drive home your desired message. Like take Danny Sullivan when he roasts Google or another engine. He is typically so mild mannered that when he roasts them you are pretty certain they deserve it. Or take Keith Olberman's recent take on the president. It really doesn't get much better than that.
We are all human, and thus are all biased and hypocritical, so of course we are going to look stupid to some of the people some of the time, but at least they looked. Feel free to throw stones and/or flames below ;)
Update: Paul Graham has a cool article called What You Can't Say, from which I will quote:
Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers?
If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you're supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn't. Odds are you just think whatever you're told.
If you believe everything you're supposed to now, how can you be sure you wouldn't also have believed everything you were supposed to if you had grown up among the plantation owners of the pre-Civil War South, or in Germany in the 1930s-- or among the Mongols in 1200, for that matter? Odds are you would have.
obviously false statements might be treated as jokes, or at worst as evidence of insanity, but they are not likely to make anyone mad. The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true.
I think many interesting heretical thoughts are already mostly formed in our minds. If we turn off our self-censorship temporarily, those will be the first to emerge.
Thinking outside the framework others set up, predict, and control is what allows you to create your own for profit framework (and by profit I do not mean only money).
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