It’s so easy to relate blogging and internet business to the real world, despite what you may think about the lack of a connection to the web, and people instead of lines of HTML and code. I was thinking about this especially whilst reading through the latest edition of The Economist – a weekly subscription-based glossy magazine which gives all the latest news and opinions in the business world.
One such article particularly caught my eye. It was called “What I’ve Learned“, and was by none other than Mr. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain. Now I don’t really want to get into politics here, but throughout this essay on reflecting on a decade as PM, Mr. Blair made really good points that are very relevant to being an internet mogul hoping to take the web by storm.
I’ll go through each of the 4 points, with Tony’s main ideas in bold, and my follow-up remarks next to each and how by applying the skills he has learnt at Number 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister could make an awesome webmaster. Read the article if you want to see how his points relate to politics.
1) Be a player not a spectator – this is of the utmost. It’s all very well buying Mr. Marketer’s $99 eBook and surfing competitor blogs and websites daily, but procrastination in itself, isn’t going to get you anywhere. All the best coders and designers say that the only way you can learn is by doing something yourself. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, as this is how you will learn in the e-world.
2) (Transatlantic) Co-operation is still vital – whilst this is referring to friendship between the UK and US, having contacts online is of equal importance if you want to get recognised. Say if you need a friendly Digg to get your article going, or some advice on how to boost traffic to your site, a buddy that you can contact via Instant Message will definitely help you out. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of some close friends that I met online. So get networking.
3) We must stand up for our values – again another solid nominative statement. We’ve all heard the expression “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em“, but there’s no point in getting dragged into something you despise secretly. Stick up for your morals and be prepared to defend them when it comes to the crunch. Don’t actively criticise another blogger for traffic and media attention – be sure to have a good reason for doing so, and make sure this is implicit in your article as a blogger.
4) It’s about tomorrow’s agenda too – in this quote, Tony Blair is referring to growth and present policies for a safer Britain tomorrow. The same applies to being an internet entrepreneur (and corresponds to a guest article I wrote for Ray). Be prepared to put in the hard work today in order to reap the benefits tomorrow – in webpreneurial terms, focus on writing good content for your website as a solid base, then look towards monetization and earning your dollars.
To summarize, Mr Blair may have made a few bad decisions in his long-lived career, but as a human, it was important to him that he made sure he recognized what he had achieved through being Prime Minister in the form of this essay. Make sure you too realize what you’ve learnt from the web, and carry them forward into your next task or project.