July 2, 2013


In the perfect crime, Seth Godin says “marketing enables a pickpocket to steal a wallet --- and be thanked for it”. Strong words. Seth takes a stand against marketing which  creates side effects like obesity: “Just because marketing works doesn't mean we have an obligation to do it. And if we're too greedy to stop on our own, then yes, we should be stopped.”

He could have stayed silent. He could have made his comments in private. Instead, Seth told the world.

What do you know that you know needs to be said? Do you say it?

Why It Works

Actions have consequences. When you make your views known, you show courage. You aren’t trying to please everyone with blandness. As a result, you stand out from the silent masses.

Will everyone like what you say? No. When you make you speak out, you polarize. You’ll repel some. You’ll also attract some, even if they disagree. This second group is worth your focus.


Readers want good information to make good decisions. If you’ve established a level of trust, they will be interested in what you say.
In the past, I’ve written about
These examples include some of my most popular posts.

Why Bother?

When you build an audience you care about, don’t you have an obligation to keep them informed? Aren’t you bursting to tell the people around the water cooler, coffee pot or lunch table? Those conversations disappear without a lasting trace. That means you’re depriving others of your knowledge and letting them make the same mistake.

I had an awkward situation earlier this year. My most read post of all time was why join the Toronto Board of Trade, which I wrote in 2011. Times change and I felt compelled to leave. I didn’t want to say why but knew I had an obligation to be forthright. I wrote about the reasons for leaving and suffered some consequences. Even now, many more read my reasons for joining (still the #1 post ever and #3 last month) than my reasons for leaving. That’s their choice. I did my part.


Suppose you’re annoyed that your french fries are cold. That may not be a good reason to blog (or even tweet). It’s wise to prepare a draft and wait at least a day before deciding if your content is worth sharing.

Can you extract lessons that have general, lasting value? Can you show proof (e.g., screen shots, photos or recordings)? Do you know of other options?

You may suppress names unless they’re relevant (e.g., in diluting the soup). That doesn’t mean suppressing what you know needs to be said.


PS You can also write about great experiences (e.g., great customer service from Rogers)

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