Opinion

Making a leap (or, How I learned to live without Seth Godin)


I’m afraid of missing something. There, I’ve said it. So you can imagine my trepidation when I eventually hit the ‘Unsubscribe’ button on Seth Godin’s daily emails.

This is the story of what happened next.

To be honest, the rot with Godin had set in a while before. Having downloaded a podcast where he riffed for 45 minutes apparently without notes, preparation or slides (it was very interesting), I was more than a little annoyed when I read – almost verbatim – the same script in his book Linchpin, which was published a year previously.

I mean, I felt cheated. I’d been let down.

If I’d completed a book, loved it, nurtured it, edited it, final proofed it and then probably gone on a tour with it, I think I’d probably know about 45 minutes of it off by heart. (Let’s face it, I can riff for half an hour at the moment from a large number of my blog posts, and that’s without a book behind me)

So I wasn’t in the best of moods when Godin hit a particularly dull week.

I get it: we can’t all be sparkling all of the time. I know I certainly can’t.

But this was a really, really dull week. I can’t remember what post it was that finally tipped me over the edge, but enough was enough and I went for the Unsubscribe.

I figured that, if the worst came to the worst, then I’d pick up any particularly great posts from the people I follow on Twitter – all of whom Tweet and ReTweet interesting stuff on a daily basis.

And many of whom follow Godin’s daily pronouncements (I know, I’ve asked). So I figured I could rely on them to flag up anything particularly read-worthy.

The problem is that, three months since unsubscribing, I haven’t read a single post. Not one.

My Twitter followers haven’t flagged up any of Seth’s daily musings. In fact, if my thought-sparring-partner Andrew Schiestel hadn’t said something about poking a box (which Godin would have been proud of him for), I wouldn’t have even remembered that I was waiting to read the ReTweets.

So I don’t think I lost anything by unsubscribing (apart from added pressure on the old inbox). But it does make me wonder.

Seth Godin’s a well recognised business thinker and blogger. He’s got a raft of books published, most (if not all of which) have sold more copies than I’ve had hot dinners. When he says he’s abandoning traditional publishing, people start debates and arguments.

The people I follow on Twitter (and Facebook for that matter) are, for the most part, the sort of people who would follow Godin. And they’re the sort of people who share interesting stuff from the world around them.

So if Godin’s not getting retweeted by the people most likely to read and share his work, how hard is it for the rest of us who are just ordinary people trying to make our mark in a crowded world?

(As if to prove a point, Andrew Schiestel shared a Godin insight last night through Facebook. Murphy’s Law – 1. Me – 0.
And, as if to rub it in, as I log into WordPress to submit this post, there’s a front page piece about Godin’s Poke The Box book. Murphy’s Law – 2. Me – 0. Bugger.
But I’m still not subscribing again…)

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