Today our Prime Minister is in Kuwait; yesterday he was in Egypt. It rather looks like he is “on tour”. Of course, his speech today did not have to be made in Kuwait itself. What he said he could have done from the comfort of the Downing Street garden. Yet the impact it has locally, on the people of Kuwait is much more significant because he was there. Turning up in person and saying the same thing as he would have said from his desk at No 10 is much more impactful – it connects much more with his audience because he “is there”.
Being with your audience in person – live – is much more important than many so-called Internet experts might have you believe. The notion that in years to come we will all be sitting at our desks holding hologram meetings with people based in different countries around the world is a nice idea for Hollywood and a great technological achievement. But it is unlikely to be as important as face-to-face. Being present, in the flesh, is vital if you want to truly connect with your audience.
Bloggers, on the other hand, appear to think that they can make money online by sitting at their desks, bashing out thousands of words each day, only for the world to come rushing to their door clutching handfuls of fivers. If you watched The Gadget Show last night – where they attempted to make money from blogging – you will have seen that this is actually far from the case. (They managed to make three quid from a blog in the space of a month.)
But consider for a moment authors, pop stars and Simon Cowell. Authors go “on tour” around bookshops for “signings” where they meet their readers. Pop stars go “on tour” to perform and “meet their fans”. And Simon Cowell presumably makes pots of cash from the tours following X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Sure the TV shows bring in millions, but those tours where the “stars” are out, in the flesh, are what makes even more money.
When you are a writer, a performer, an artist or a business executive trying to sell your wares, there is nothing to beat “going live”. Sure, the Internet can help. Yes, there is software such as iPhone Apps, which can bring in extra bubble. But appearing, live, in the flesh, with real people creates a connection which you cannot reproduce in any other way.
David Cameron clearly realises that by going “on tour” in the Middle East he will be able to get his messages across in ways which would be enormously difficult if he said the same things from Downing Street. So it all begs the question; how often do you take your blog “on tour”? How often do audiences connect with you and your blog “in the flesh”?
Blogs should not just be restricted to an on-screen activity. The best bloggers are the ones that connect with real people, in the real world – live.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+