Lower the bar. That’s what my friend, His Highness of High Weirdness aka Matthew Stillman, wants us to do.
When he told me that, I didn’t understand. Doesn’t that mean lowering your standards? Expecting less? Offering less?
Dude. I can’t endorse that.
Except that’s not what he means. Matthew doesn’t want us to dilute our excellence or offer more junk, less jewels. He wants us to be more accessible. Lower the bar means loving more. Showing the world more.
I can’t keep it in/I gotta let it out/
I’ve gotta show the world/The world’s got to see
See all the love/Love that’s in me.
Can’t Keep it In by Yusuf Islam
And that’s what blogs are about. Lowering the bar. Getting it out.
Last year – and continuously, really – there was much noise and thunder about how blogging doesn’t make you money, business makes you money.
And therefore that’s what you should worry about: your business. Your plot to monetize and/or take over the world.
And: duh. Of course you should put mucho effort into building your biz. Of course the thing that makes you money – whether it’s your job, your art, your business – deserves devotion. Honour thy independendance and abundance, in whatever vehicle it drives you.
But. Here’s why I adore blogging and bloggers: because it’s not all – or only – about money. It’s about message. It’s about community. It’s about communion.
Penelope Trunk thinks one of the ways to measure Blog ROI is if it improves your sex life.
I think you’re doing it right – blogging, sex – if it improves your life.
And your character. And those of other people, too.
And that’s what Matthew Stillman (and Yusuf Islam and maybe even me) is a-talkin’ about. Lowering the bar means making your mad and meaningful message accessible to everyone who needs it. Or wants it. Or wants to participate in the grand project of creation and self-actualization and community contribution but is busy surviving and doesn’t – yet – have $50 or $500 or $5000 to invest in learning how to do that.
That’s what blogs – and bloggers – do: share.
So if your blog isn’t making you money, don’t despair. That’s not really what blogs are supposed to do. A blog can be a podium, a platform, a stage on which to shine for as many lovers (and haters) as possible.
A blog can be an Acropolis. A sacred daily gathering place for people, ideas, discussion, debate, change.
A blog can be a salon. Your salon. Your living room. A coffee shop. Your kitchen table. Historically, this is where ideas, worlds, governments and good times are schemed and dreamed.
And so, yes, let’s lower the bar. Let’s get it out. I gotta get it out.
Isn’t that what bloggers have been doing all along?
Let’s lower the bar. Let’s make it more accessible. Let’s get it out.
And that’s what I’m doing today: making a lower-the-bar/can’t-keep-it-in/gotta-get it out offer.
Until midnight tonight (I chose today because it’s Canada’s birthday, hooray!), every time a Red Shoe Blogger session is purchased, I’ll give one away, too.
If you book one, you can choose to whom your gift goes.
Or you and a savvy friend can pool your loonies (that’s Canuck-speak for “dollars”) and subsidize each other by buying two sessions for the price of one.
Or you can make your gift a scholarship and I’ll match it up with someone burning to walk the red shoe walk.
And with that gift we’ll show the world all the love – and blog genius and generosity – that’s in you.
And you’re not doing this alone. We’re in this together. For every four Red Shoe Bloggers booked-and-paid-for, I’ll not only offer the matching four free sessions, but I’ll gift another free scholarship session, too.
And there’s no social proof required. You don’t have to tweet it, facebook it, or even comment. If you decide to buy a session, just send me an e-mail telling me to whom you want to offer your gift session, and it’s on, baby.
PS This offer was inspired by Red Shoe Blogger and web developer/designer Leah Shaver (Amanda and I have been recommending her to our Red+Purple clients who need gorgeous sites while Amanda takes a work break to have a baby), who dreamed up and did this very thing all on her own. Leah booked a session for herself and then bought another for a friend. Lovelovelove.
PPS In the first iteration of this piece, I referred to Yusuf Islam as Cat Stevens. And then, afterwards, while I was listening to his oeuvre online, I realized the magnitude of that wrong. How is it that I can so clearly see that it was racism when 1960s mainstream media continued to refer to Muhammad Ali as Cassius Clay…but that I haven’t been according Yusuf Islam respect by calling him by the name he has chosen? There comes a time when you tell the world who you are. With names or postscripts.