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Charisma versus Innovation

You can be charismatic or be innovative, if you had to choose, which would you prefer?

I asked on Twitter and got overwhelmingly “Innovative!” as a response. This is pretty much what I hoped and expected to hear.

While most people would say they value innovation more highly than charisma, I look around and I am not sure this is how the world works.

Take politicians for example. Who gets voted in? As Scott Adams likes to point out, the tallest candidate with the best hair. We don’t tend to see successful innovative politicians but we do see lots of well groomed sound-bite-spouting smoothies. If you work for a large organization, is it the smartest people who get promoted all the time?

What does this have to do with blogging?

I have been looking over the nominations for the Performancing awards. There is some real talent there. Some very original blogs. Stuff I have never seen before. Why do we not know these blogs?

Maybe my mind is just winding down for the holidays, or perhaps in trying to make space for the holidays my brain has fried, but I wonder if “being remarkable” isn’t as important as delivery. Is it possible that if you take two bloggers, one charismatic and the other innovative that the former will be more popular than the latter?

I wonder if there is a trend in blog reading that we like nicely packaged, un-challenging, charming blogs, just like the tabloid celebrity culture we are all familiar with. While blogging isn’t all about popularity, I have to think the charismatic blogger might get a bigger audience, more traffic and adsense clicks or whatever their goal is.

The lesson, if I am right, is you can’t rely on your smarts alone. It is not enough to have brilliant ideas and original thinking, how you delivery it is at least as important if not more so.

As well as brainstorming fantastic post ideas, brilliant tactics and strategies, original ways to view the world, you must also spend time crafting your storytelling and building connections with your audience. This is not about dumbing down but making your content accessible to a distracted and hurried blogosphere.

Then you will be charismatically innovative :)

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. I think the question you asked might have framed the answers you received.

    You asked, “What do you want to BE?” Well, I want to be innovative.

    However. Were I asked the question, “What image do you want to PORTRAY to others?” the answer might be very different. What I want to be and what I want people to see in me are two different things.

    In the case of the second question, I’d want to portray charisma. I would BE innovative and PORTRAY charisma, and I’d get the best of both worlds :)

  2. I think the question you asked might have framed the answers you received.

    You asked, “What do you want to BE?” Well, I want to be innovative.

    However. Were I asked the question, “What image do you want to PORTRAY to others?” the answer might be very different. What I want to be and what I want people to see in me are two different things.

    In the case of the second question, I’d want to portray charisma. I would BE innovative and PORTRAY charisma, and I’d get the best of both worlds :)

  3. It’s interesting to me that the value of charisma has carried over to the online world–in DROVES.

    I see some, *ahem* “enlightening” things and people in the design field, for example. Folks with great charisma, but absolutely no innovation, who get on a speaking circuit, or become darlings of the web design world “A list.” Drama queens who have enough followers that they get a book published that offers little of substance.

    It seems like people gravitate toward charisma. Many contend that’s why Kennedy (and other politicians, as you noted) won (though Kennedy was also arguably a pretty smart guy). To the average person on a basic level, perhaps innovation is boring or nerdy.

    James hit the nail on the head: Portray charisma, and BE innovative. 2 random people who do that: Seth Godin, and Bono (both musically and otherwise).

  4. It’s interesting to me that the value of charisma has carried over to the online world–in DROVES.

    I see some, *ahem* “enlightening” things and people in the design field, for example. Folks with great charisma, but absolutely no innovation, who get on a speaking circuit, or become darlings of the web design world “A list.” Drama queens who have enough followers that they get a book published that offers little of substance.

    It seems like people gravitate toward charisma. Many contend that’s why Kennedy (and other politicians, as you noted) won (though Kennedy was also arguably a pretty smart guy). To the average person on a basic level, perhaps innovation is boring or nerdy.

    James hit the nail on the head: Portray charisma, and BE innovative. 2 random people who do that: Seth Godin, and Bono (both musically and otherwise).

  5. Chris,

    Interesting point. I belive you do both well, be charismatic and innovative. And, crafting and refining your voice is one of the critical elements of doing both. But, it often takes a skillsets that a lot of innovators just are not passionate about cultivating.

    Put another way, most people are most interested and excited about innovating within their particular field than becoming remarkable at communicating their innovations in a way that inspires the greatest number of people to access them.

    It’s the rare person who discovers a duel passion for innovating and crafting how they communicate that zest for innovation. But, when you find those people, man, there’s just no stopping them!

  6. Chris,

    Interesting point. I belive you do both well, be charismatic and innovative. And, crafting and refining your voice is one of the critical elements of doing both. But, it often takes a skillsets that a lot of innovators just are not passionate about cultivating.

    Put another way, most people are most interested and excited about innovating within their particular field than becoming remarkable at communicating their innovations in a way that inspires the greatest number of people to access them.

    It’s the rare person who discovers a duel passion for innovating and crafting how they communicate that zest for innovation. But, when you find those people, man, there’s just no stopping them!

  7. @James – yes you are probably right. In fact I just bought a book on Amazon about how polls can be manipulated by the way questions are phrased :)

    @Reese – I agree, innovative comes first and charisma is in the delivery. Form and function I guess :)

    @Jonathan – Rare indeed but well worth striving for :)

  8. @James – yes you are probably right. In fact I just bought a book on Amazon about how polls can be manipulated by the way questions are phrased :)

    @Reese – I agree, innovative comes first and charisma is in the delivery. Form and function I guess :)

    @Jonathan – Rare indeed but well worth striving for :)

  9. @ Chris – Pick up a book on Psychology ;) You’ll be doing some real critical thinking each time you answer any question.

    @ Jonathan – I wonder if it takes two different kind of people to be innovative or charismatic? Innovative thinkers may not have the same particular personality or traits that let them be charismatic, and likewise, maybe charismatic people aren’t the best forward-thinkers?

    I also wonder how much charisma has to do with social training. I mean, if you’re a hermit because you were beaten as a kid and spat on, you sure would have a tough time being charismatic. You could certainly be innovative, though.

    This over-thinking is a clear sign that I need more coffee.

  10. @ Chris – Pick up a book on Psychology ;) You’ll be doing some real critical thinking each time you answer any question.

    @ Jonathan – I wonder if it takes two different kind of people to be innovative or charismatic? Innovative thinkers may not have the same particular personality or traits that let them be charismatic, and likewise, maybe charismatic people aren’t the best forward-thinkers?

    I also wonder how much charisma has to do with social training. I mean, if you’re a hermit because you were beaten as a kid and spat on, you sure would have a tough time being charismatic. You could certainly be innovative, though.

    This over-thinking is a clear sign that I need more coffee.

  11. @James – I found the book by following links on the topic of “sleight of mouth” :)

  12. @James – I found the book by following links on the topic of “sleight of mouth” :)

  13. Oh man, sleight of mouth – that’s brilliant (and scary but now I’m curious as hell). I’m going to have to get into that and check it out. Thanks!

  14. Oh man, sleight of mouth – that’s brilliant (and scary but now I’m curious as hell). I’m going to have to get into that and check it out. Thanks!

  15. There is some psychological grounding to this. We judge the content by the container, instinctively. If we see a typo in a post (cough!) we draw draw conclusions (incorrectly) about the author’s abilities. Research also shows that we judge first on appearances, then augment that will other data. If you think about it, it is a natural survival mechanism – you don’t wait to get to know the tiger. You assume it is bad and run. We are wired that way, and we are living in an increasingly visual society today. Sadly,’stuff’ has to look right as well as be right these days. Go against the flow and work on critical thinking stills!

  16. There is some psychological grounding to this. We judge the content by the container, instinctively. If we see a typo in a post (cough!) we draw draw conclusions (incorrectly) about the author’s abilities. Research also shows that we judge first on appearances, then augment that will other data. If you think about it, it is a natural survival mechanism – you don’t wait to get to know the tiger. You assume it is bad and run. We are wired that way, and we are living in an increasingly visual society today. Sadly,’stuff’ has to look right as well as be right these days. Go against the flow and work on critical thinking stills!

  17. The reason I said on Twitter that I thought charisma is more important is because charisma is for life. Innovation is fleeting at best. Innovation also takes constant effort to stay at the forefront but charisma doesn’t.

  18. The reason I said on Twitter that I thought charisma is more important is because charisma is for life. Innovation is fleeting at best. Innovation also takes constant effort to stay at the forefront but charisma doesn’t.

  19. One word…Blink! In that book, Malcom Gladwell showed how research revealed the design on packaging of something can literally change make people experience the product as tasting different.

    @ Chris – I think it often does take two different people, largely because the investment needed to become great at either innovation within your specific field or the art of communication/persuasion is monumental. Which is why, the person that has the motivation and the time to invest in cultivating greatness in both areas is such a rare find.

    @ James – Trying to figure something out, am I stalking you around the commentsphere or are you stalking me? HEEHEEHEE!!!

    Actually – Sleight Of Mouth is a legendary book in the field of persuasion, selling and direct marketing.

  20. One word…Blink! In that book, Malcom Gladwell showed how research revealed the design on packaging of something can literally change make people experience the product as tasting different.

    @ Chris – I think it often does take two different people, largely because the investment needed to become great at either innovation within your specific field or the art of communication/persuasion is monumental. Which is why, the person that has the motivation and the time to invest in cultivating greatness in both areas is such a rare find.

    @ James – Trying to figure something out, am I stalking you around the commentsphere or are you stalking me? HEEHEEHEE!!!

    Actually – Sleight Of Mouth is a legendary book in the field of persuasion, selling and direct marketing.

  21. Both what you say and how you say it are important, but a lot of people can get by with just saying it well. :)

    One thing that continues to amaze me is that people are surprised when online mimics offline. It’s social media, and reflects society–the good, the bad and the ugly.

    As more “regular” people get involved, expect that trend to intensify. Then the online utopians will set up a private dark net to shield themselves from the realities of human nature. :)

  22. Both what you say and how you say it are important, but a lot of people can get by with just saying it well. :)

    One thing that continues to amaze me is that people are surprised when online mimics offline. It’s social media, and reflects society–the good, the bad and the ugly.

    As more “regular” people get involved, expect that trend to intensify. Then the online utopians will set up a private dark net to shield themselves from the realities of human nature. :)

  23. @ Brian – Completely agree. As someone who’s been an off-line entrepreneur/marketing guy for way longer than I’ve been an online version of the same, so many of the skills and techniques are transferable with very little modification.

    Social media, online media and mainstream media are more similar than many in the online world would like to admit.

    The way you communicate something literally shapes the core of the content being conveyed. I just wrote an article about all this last week, called “voice rules/topics drool.”

    But, what do I know, I just discovered how to use instant messenger last week!

  24. @ Brian – Completely agree. As someone who’s been an off-line entrepreneur/marketing guy for way longer than I’ve been an online version of the same, so many of the skills and techniques are transferable with very little modification.

    Social media, online media and mainstream media are more similar than many in the online world would like to admit.

    The way you communicate something literally shapes the core of the content being conveyed. I just wrote an article about all this last week, called “voice rules/topics drool.”

    But, what do I know, I just discovered how to use instant messenger last week!

  25. Both – Here is why.

    Every one has Ideas(Innovations) but if you can not Sell(Charisma) your Idea.
    You are Dead in the Water.

    On the other hand you will have a harder Sell if you don’t have a Innovative Idea.

  26. Both – Here is why.

    Every one has Ideas(Innovations) but if you can not Sell(Charisma) your Idea.
    You are Dead in the Water.

    On the other hand you will have a harder Sell if you don’t have a Innovative Idea.

  27. Look at some of the top bloggers and how they got there… was it innovation or charisma or both?

    Calacanis
    Huffington
    Arrington
    etc…

    Obviously charisma is super important. You can’t be boring and have a following.

  28. Look at some of the top bloggers and how they got there… was it innovation or charisma or both?

    Calacanis
    Huffington
    Arrington
    etc…

    Obviously charisma is super important. You can’t be boring and have a following.

  29. I don’t think people are lying when they say they value innovation. I think most people do. However, charisma is naturally attractive, so it tends to draw us in, and can even blind us to the real value (or lack thereof) of what is being communicated by a charismatic person.

  30. I don’t think people are lying when they say they value innovation. I think most people do. However, charisma is naturally attractive, so it tends to draw us in, and can even blind us to the real value (or lack thereof) of what is being communicated by a charismatic person.

  31. @ Jonathan – We both have very good taste and read the same blogs. We stalk superior blogs only, not each other. How’s that?

    @ Brian – That first sentence works for me. Can I use it as my new mantra?

    On a side thought, charisma means the person touches us inside. Innovation only changes our world.

  32. @ Jonathan – We both have very good taste and read the same blogs. We stalk superior blogs only, not each other. How’s that?

    @ Brian – That first sentence works for me. Can I use it as my new mantra?

    On a side thought, charisma means the person touches us inside. Innovation only changes our world.

  33. I would like to add that charisma and innovation usually equals Remarkable (Purple Cow in Seth Godin vernacular).

    Innovation in and of itself can grab attention, but in the world of blogging I would think that innovation AND charisma are what is needed to grab people’s attention.

    Very interesting conversation…

  34. I would like to add that charisma and innovation usually equals Remarkable (Purple Cow in Seth Godin vernacular).

    Innovation in and of itself can grab attention, but in the world of blogging I would think that innovation AND charisma are what is needed to grab people’s attention.

    Very interesting conversation…

  35. Actually, I take that back, in the blogging world I think charisma may be all you need to grab attention.

  36. Actually, I take that back, in the blogging world I think charisma may be all you need to grab attention.

  37. Hmm…I wonder if that is my problem. I don’t know if I’m exactly innovative…I write very technical posts about how to produce independent films. But I’m pretty sure I’m not very charismatic. How does “learn” to be charismatic exactly?

  38. Hmm…I wonder if that is my problem. I don’t know if I’m exactly innovative…I write very technical posts about how to produce independent films. But I’m pretty sure I’m not very charismatic. How does “learn” to be charismatic exactly?

  39. There’ve been many people in the world at large who got and get big attention who are charismatic, innovative and got themselves and others in big trouble (and I’m not gutsy enough yet in this blog world to name names). I figure it’s the same with blogging. I think charisma and innovation need to married to integrity, and then you really have something to listen to.

  40. There’ve been many people in the world at large who got and get big attention who are charismatic, innovative and got themselves and others in big trouble (and I’m not gutsy enough yet in this blog world to name names). I figure it’s the same with blogging. I think charisma and innovation need to married to integrity, and then you really have something to listen to.

  41. 1) I think I’d like to have a beer with James Chartrand and enjoy the idea-exchange; and
    2) charisma will win out over innovation every time, alas, because it seems to be hard-wired into humankind to react emotionally to surface attraction. That’s why even the tiniest of infants will react with gurgles of pleasure to the conventionally beautiful, symmetrical-ovoid faces so beloved of the cosmetic industry and Hollywood… and why con men never run short of willing victims.

    A side thought: charisma can be acquired as a learned skill. But innovation – isn’t that more of a natural talent? Either it’s there or it’s not.

  42. 1) I think I’d like to have a beer with James Chartrand and enjoy the idea-exchange; and
    2) charisma will win out over innovation every time, alas, because it seems to be hard-wired into humankind to react emotionally to surface attraction. That’s why even the tiniest of infants will react with gurgles of pleasure to the conventionally beautiful, symmetrical-ovoid faces so beloved of the cosmetic industry and Hollywood… and why con men never run short of willing victims.

    A side thought: charisma can be acquired as a learned skill. But innovation – isn’t that more of a natural talent? Either it’s there or it’s not.

  43. @ Jen – C’mon over. I’d enjoy a beer, too.

    Good question.

    If we take the definition of charism as being “a personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others”, some people are born charismatic (Aww, what a cute baby! What is it you want? Here, happier now? Awww…) and some that are not (I’m sure we all know at least one baby that didn’t do much for us.

    But you can learn social skills like smiling, touching, and listening that help boost your personal attractiveness. So it’s both innate and learned behavior.

    If we take the definition of innovative as “being or producing something like nothing done or experienced or created before”, the same theory applies. Some people are born with the ability to “see the future” or think ahead (ie, I have a problem, hmmm… SOLUTION!) but some aren’t. (I have a problem, now what?)

    But you can learn ways to open up thoughts by mind-mapping, problem-solving and critical thinking. Again, we’re into both innate and learned behavior.

    It’s complex. And demands more coffee. Because it’s just too early for beer.

  44. @ Jen – C’mon over. I’d enjoy a beer, too.

    Good question.

    If we take the definition of charism as being “a personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others”, some people are born charismatic (Aww, what a cute baby! What is it you want? Here, happier now? Awww…) and some that are not (I’m sure we all know at least one baby that didn’t do much for us.

    But you can learn social skills like smiling, touching, and listening that help boost your personal attractiveness. So it’s both innate and learned behavior.

    If we take the definition of innovative as “being or producing something like nothing done or experienced or created before”, the same theory applies. Some people are born with the ability to “see the future” or think ahead (ie, I have a problem, hmmm… SOLUTION!) but some aren’t. (I have a problem, now what?)

    But you can learn ways to open up thoughts by mind-mapping, problem-solving and critical thinking. Again, we’re into both innate and learned behavior.

    It’s complex. And demands more coffee. Because it’s just too early for beer.

  45. To inject a bit of hope :) – Today you need both. Charisma draws the crowd, innovation delivers the goods. How about that?

  46. To inject a bit of hope :) – Today you need both. Charisma draws the crowd, innovation delivers the goods. How about that?

  47. Chris: In psychology they say that many “new” or innovative theories are nothing but old wine wrapped in new wine skins. That is, in my opinion, many of the “innovations” that we see today are but a different take on the same thing.

    I believe that many of the successful bloggers are more charismatic than innovative. Charisma brings with it energy and drive that can turn something ordinary into extraordinary.

  48. Chris: In psychology they say that many “new” or innovative theories are nothing but old wine wrapped in new wine skins. That is, in my opinion, many of the “innovations” that we see today are but a different take on the same thing.

    I believe that many of the successful bloggers are more charismatic than innovative. Charisma brings with it energy and drive that can turn something ordinary into extraordinary.

  49. I believe that charisma is a form of innovation, which is why it may be more desirable initially. If you have a quality about yourself that can have an influence over people and attract others, then you’ve introduced something new and unique to the world, which is what innovation does. Of course, charisma has a sort of fad-ish quality that doesn’t last forever, which is why it can be short lived.

    Innovation, on the other hand, has the ability to introduce lasting ideas consistently to the world. This is likely why most people would want innovation over charisma. It has the ability to last longer, and goes deeper than just the superficial in regards to our perception of what innovation means.

    This kind of reminds me of the discussion music industry has with pop vs. indie music. One type of music can attract mass audiences, but doesn’t have the perception of “quality” that would give it a certain amount of respect. The other type of music is much more difficult to get attention, but once it gets discovered, it has the perception of being a “thinking man’s” music.

    I do agree that having charisma and innovation is the way to go. You have the passion and influence to get attention quickly, while possessing the ideas and substance to keep the attention on you for the long haul.

  50. I believe that charisma is a form of innovation, which is why it may be more desirable initially. If you have a quality about yourself that can have an influence over people and attract others, then you’ve introduced something new and unique to the world, which is what innovation does. Of course, charisma has a sort of fad-ish quality that doesn’t last forever, which is why it can be short lived.

    Innovation, on the other hand, has the ability to introduce lasting ideas consistently to the world. This is likely why most people would want innovation over charisma. It has the ability to last longer, and goes deeper than just the superficial in regards to our perception of what innovation means.

    This kind of reminds me of the discussion music industry has with pop vs. indie music. One type of music can attract mass audiences, but doesn’t have the perception of “quality” that would give it a certain amount of respect. The other type of music is much more difficult to get attention, but once it gets discovered, it has the perception of being a “thinking man’s” music.

    I do agree that having charisma and innovation is the way to go. You have the passion and influence to get attention quickly, while possessing the ideas and substance to keep the attention on you for the long haul.

  51. I am a writer and I find people respond to different things well…differently. A short poem or quote can bring more traffic than anything too involved. I just hope to keep up.

  52. I am a writer and I find people respond to different things well…differently. A short poem or quote can bring more traffic than anything too involved. I just hope to keep up.

  53. Spelling mistake

    ” While most people would say they value innovation more highly than charisma, I look around and I am “note” sure this is how the world works. “

  54. Spelling mistake

    ” While most people would say they value innovation more highly than charisma, I look around and I am “note” sure this is how the world works. “

  55. I think to a certain extent charisma is a “gift”. If you don’t have that head start it can be consciously developed (I know people who practise eye contact in the mirror, for example) but you have to ask yourself how much of your energy you are willing to invest in it.

    Charisma is the skill of making the person you are talking to (literally or figuratively) feel like they are important, like they have your undivided attention. I’m fairly introverted. I like thinking, and I’m good at it, but it keeps my focus directed inward. I would have to change that dramatically to become truly charismatic and I’m not willing to pay the price.

    The beauty of the blogging community is that I don’t need to. The bloggers who have the skills are obvious, and their charisma draws me in the same as everyone else. Through them I make connections, solid ones, just as though I’m being introduced to “a friend of a friend”.

    Sure, every effort should be made to listen and be responsive to your audience, but the hardest part of charisma, if you don’t have it, can be “outsourced”. Then it just boils down to the quality of your content.

  56. I think to a certain extent charisma is a “gift”. If you don’t have that head start it can be consciously developed (I know people who practise eye contact in the mirror, for example) but you have to ask yourself how much of your energy you are willing to invest in it.

    Charisma is the skill of making the person you are talking to (literally or figuratively) feel like they are important, like they have your undivided attention. I’m fairly introverted. I like thinking, and I’m good at it, but it keeps my focus directed inward. I would have to change that dramatically to become truly charismatic and I’m not willing to pay the price.

    The beauty of the blogging community is that I don’t need to. The bloggers who have the skills are obvious, and their charisma draws me in the same as everyone else. Through them I make connections, solid ones, just as though I’m being introduced to “a friend of a friend”.

    Sure, every effort should be made to listen and be responsive to your audience, but the hardest part of charisma, if you don’t have it, can be “outsourced”. Then it just boils down to the quality of your content.

  57. If you have innovation but no people skills, its pointless

  58. If you have innovation but no people skills, its pointless

  59. @James – Just don’t completely turn to the dark side ;)

    @Benjamin – Exactly, we all look at the cover before reading the book

    @Jack – Excellent point, although for both some find being “on” natural or hard work

    @Jonathan – I love the book Blink!

    @Brian – Yes, I try to remind clients that underlying everything we do online it is still about people and psychology rather than technology is often the driver.

    @Jonathan – It’s not what you use it is how you use it ;)

    @Dennis – We are always selling aren’t we?

    @George – It is an interesting thought, I would say Scoble is very much in the charisma seat because he has made his name through networking mostly I would say?

    @Adam – Yeah, it is like a magnetism

    @James – Good point about charisma touching us, interesting

    @George – Best if you have both though right? :)

    @Cinema – The easiest way is by observing I think

    @Erica – I guess like most tools it can be used for evil!

    @Jen – I think both can be learned but people do sometimes start out one way or the other.

    @Benjamin – I guess it depends if you want entertainment, a sense of community, or business competitiveness etc?

    @Steve – As Landon says above, innovation can be in the presentation of an idea as much as charisma though?

    @Landon – Good point, there seems to be a lot goes into the mix. It’s interesting the “credible” idea, it is true that especially in music “mainstream” is both a blessing and an insult, same could be true in blogging

    @veronicaromm – It can be confusing so best to please yourself rather than chasing sometimes!

    @hitesh – Thanks :)

    @Lani – Yes I think in the end you have to be consistent

    @Jermayn – I would agree with you but I have known some people who have got by despite their people skills because they were so brilliant it was almost expected!

  60. @James – Just don’t completely turn to the dark side ;)

    @Benjamin – Exactly, we all look at the cover before reading the book

    @Jack – Excellent point, although for both some find being “on” natural or hard work

    @Jonathan – I love the book Blink!

    @Brian – Yes, I try to remind clients that underlying everything we do online it is still about people and psychology rather than technology is often the driver.

    @Jonathan – It’s not what you use it is how you use it ;)

    @Dennis – We are always selling aren’t we?

    @George – It is an interesting thought, I would say Scoble is very much in the charisma seat because he has made his name through networking mostly I would say?

    @Adam – Yeah, it is like a magnetism

    @James – Good point about charisma touching us, interesting

    @George – Best if you have both though right? :)

    @Cinema – The easiest way is by observing I think

    @Erica – I guess like most tools it can be used for evil!

    @Jen – I think both can be learned but people do sometimes start out one way or the other.

    @Benjamin – I guess it depends if you want entertainment, a sense of community, or business competitiveness etc?

    @Steve – As Landon says above, innovation can be in the presentation of an idea as much as charisma though?

    @Landon – Good point, there seems to be a lot goes into the mix. It’s interesting the “credible” idea, it is true that especially in music “mainstream” is both a blessing and an insult, same could be true in blogging

    @veronicaromm – It can be confusing so best to please yourself rather than chasing sometimes!

    @hitesh – Thanks :)

    @Lani – Yes I think in the end you have to be consistent

    @Jermayn – I would agree with you but I have known some people who have got by despite their people skills because they were so brilliant it was almost expected!

  61. Chris,

    On the Scoble point, it is ture that he has done a lot of good networking and I think that is a key component of many bloggers success, but whenever I get directed to read his blog it because of some controversial thing he said. Actually, Aaron Wall (seobook.com) had a good post about controversy the other day and included a link to a recent post of Scoble’s about his best traffic coming from controversial posts. It also included commentary on Nick Denton’s decision on the direction he is taking his blogs. After reading Aaron’s post, I am not sure if charisma and innovation matter nearly as much as controversy in the current blogosphere.

    What do you think? Controversy vs. Charisma vs. Innovation, which will get you the most readers?

  62. Chris,

    On the Scoble point, it is ture that he has done a lot of good networking and I think that is a key component of many bloggers success, but whenever I get directed to read his blog it because of some controversial thing he said. Actually, Aaron Wall (seobook.com) had a good post about controversy the other day and included a link to a recent post of Scoble’s about his best traffic coming from controversial posts. It also included commentary on Nick Denton’s decision on the direction he is taking his blogs. After reading Aaron’s post, I am not sure if charisma and innovation matter nearly as much as controversy in the current blogosphere.

    What do you think? Controversy vs. Charisma vs. Innovation, which will get you the most readers?

  63. Oh, I just noticed it’s hard to find Aaron’s article, so here is the link to the post I was talking about:

    http://www.seobook.com/pay-view-content-scarcity-credibility

  64. Oh, I just noticed it’s hard to find Aaron’s article, so here is the link to the post I was talking about:

    http://www.seobook.com/pay-view-content-scarcity-credibility