Man Week offers more evidence that Harto was wrong about bloggers

Now I know that it’s nearly time to stop going on about Harto’s speech.  

But, one final thought first.

To remind you, the boss of News Ltd had this to say about the blogosphere:

“Then there are the bloggers. In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we’ve paid for – something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance.

“Like Keating’s famous ‘all tip and no iceberg’, it could be said that the blogosphere is all eyeballs and no insight.”

So let’s see what Australia’s marketing bloggers were up to last week as John Hartigan was making his speech. As it happens, it was Man Week, and many were writing on that theme.

Let’s take Mark Pollard, strategy director at McCann Sydney. In an amazing piece of writing, he describes his own, hard growing-up process:

“In all honesty, I did this to project someone tougher than I was because I felt so vulnerable and insecure. I see photos now and cringe. I wasn’t big but I needed to feel big.”

Or more honesty from Julian Cole, digital strategist at The Population, on what it’s like to be bullied:

“Asking for help in my eyes was seen as a weakness. I was an independent soul. I disliked playing in team sports and I got annoyed at group projects. Even more embarrassing about the defeat was that, I was going to a counselor!”

Then there’s Stan Lee, of Brand DNA, on how his parents didn’t understand why he wanted to be in advertising:

“After a few years getting my hands dirty fixing things I realised that being a tradie wasn’t for me. So in my late 20’s I set out to become a copywriter.
I was so excited when I got offered my first job in an ad agency.

“As you can imagine I rang my parents to tell them. ‘What d’you wanna do that for?’said my dad. ‘You’ve got a good job, company car. Why would you want to give that up? What about your super?’ I was so proud. Yet they made me feel anything but.”

And more powerful again, comes a piece from Jye Smith, social media strategist for Switched On Media. He begins:

“Wthout a doubt this is something I’d never thought I’d share across a blog. 20 something years ago I was adopted from an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia. It’s something I live with. Something I think about every day.”

Or this from Melbourne strategist Tim Beveridge on losing the woman he loved:

“I was a deer in headlights. This was the farthest thing from my estimation of possibility. I was completely unable to interpret what had happened or to deal with it.”I had a choice. Live or die.”

And then there’s Joel Pearson who works at media agency PHD, who’s just found out that his father has leukaemia:

“As I sit here my hands are shaking more than slightly. But I feel, already, like a weight has been lifted. Writing this post has been my first step on the path to unravelling the ball of emotions I’m currently dealing with.”

Each of those six pieces – and there are many more that you can find on Mark Pollard’s blog via the link above – was written in the last few days, by that small subgroup of people who blog and work within the media and marketing industry. Any one of them is more thought-provoking and moving than anything I’ve read in a newspaper over the same period. Limited intellectual value? I don’t think so.

You can find out more about Man Week here.

(Update: Sydney based community manager Scott Drummond has added an excellent piece on dealing with his grief)

Tim Burrowes


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