Online Marketing by an Undergraduate


making sense of marketing one post at a time

Stop Adding to the Noise and Start Adding to the Conversation

This past Monday, Andrew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs explains in a fabulous post why Twitter will struggle to monetize their site. While Andrew identifies the increase in talking and decrease in listening, Chris Donaldson of shows us the benefits of approaching other bloggers in our space as complements, not competitors. I will drive the analysis home by suggesting three ways to stop talking and to bring the noise down and the value up.

Andrew humorously exposes the changing community dynamic from one of listening to one of talking. He can’t take the noise, and with a heavy heart, he breaks up with Twitter. Let’s put the noise Andrew is talking about into context:

Twitter daily visitors last 12 months

From January 2009 to May 2009, daily traffic at went from less than one and a half million daily unique visitors to almost three million.

The flood of Twitterers makes attention more difficult to come by. People talk to get noticed rather than listen to add value. No wonder Andrew is disillusioned.

But what if we do more  listening than talking? What if, like Chris suggests, instead of looking at bloggers as competitors, we look at them as complements? The benefits: we open our mind to new ideas, we foster a sub community within our larger field, and in so doing increase our sophistication as writers and idea people and produce a much richer dialog among our peers. We stop trying to be the voice and we allow ourselves to find our voice.

If you have lost your way, it’s ok. You can follow these three steps to stop adding to the noise and to start adding value.

  1. Step back from the struggle to be heard and lay the foundation for your long term growth. Connect with bloggers more deeply. Post thoughtful comments on their blogs and highlight the superior value they are contributing when possible. Your openness will reward you with greater intellectual and social satisfaction.
  2. Do your best to understand your audience at a granular level. Tippingpoint Labs is an excellent model – they help their clients build digital personas of their audience to identify the content most relevant to them.
  3. Appreciate yourself, deeply. Go beyond just understanding your place in the blogging community, and take time to think about why you are different, special, and unique. You are a wonderful person, and when you figure out why, pore that individuality into your writing. Make people stop in their tracks with your humanity.

How well do you understand you?


Filed under: Twitter Overload, , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Andrew Davis says:

    Really insightful look at the noise – but more importantly offering concrete ways to help people add value to the conversation!
    Great work.
    I do believe that it’s really important to create valuable content that people can’t find anywhere else. A unique perspective that moves the conversation forward. You’ve done that here with your post and I hope other’s take your advice.

    In fact, I think I could use a moment to step back and look at the long term goals for my content.

    Thanks again!

  2. Jason Tarre says:

    Thanks for pointing out the importance of a unique perspective. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Nicely said, Jason. You expanded on my original point and actually said it more eloquently than I did. It’s the old signal to noise dilemma.

    • Jason Tarre says:

      Chris, thanks for putting together your ten day content engine course. It’s great to see operating a blog broken down into it’s component parts. As always, thanks for the comment.

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