Friday, December 12, 2008

"The world is not interested if you are not interested"

As a blogger and as a founder of the web's only all-in-one free online publishing tool,, I look into the dark void of failure and loneliness of the struggling entrepreneur on a regular basis.

[The image above is a screen-shot of the publishing options at Bighow.]

Success I have yet to see. Failure is a constant companion. I try not to be seduced by failure.
A student of journalism puts out her frustration with the state of the news business:
As I sat through most of my classes this semester, I realized the overrated-ness (if you will) of journalism. Journalist can be very ruthless, not caring about where their next story comes from - as long as it comes. I spent four years of my life studying to become a journalist, which means I sat in classes learning about the history of journalism, the technology boom, and how the news is shifting from newspapers to the Internet. I also spent a lot of time learning about the importance of “newsworthy-ness” only to realize that the only time I ever sit down and watch the news is when I’m bored, then EVERYTHING becomes newsworthy....

5 of my friends began their college careers as eager journalists. 5 of my friends are now either in a different field or no longer eager about being a journalist but eager to graduate. My choice is to go back and get another degree in Graphic Design - something that results in product that highlights as opposed to false light.

So, is journalism over-rated?
Let's leave that for the pundits.

Although, out here in India, many of my colleagues who were in online publishing have moved onto 'secure' offline jobs.

Not easy: making it in the tough world of publishing, especially Online Publishing.
Not easy: Seeing so many talented journalists, writers and creative people struggling out there in the Matrix.

Don't panic.
Immortal words from the Great Douglas Adams.

Here's a short guide to succeeding in online publishing:

Easy: Being positive and having a strong spine.
Easy: Being interested.

The world of online publishing is a tough place but it is a big place.
Incidentally, this is how I came with the name Bighow for my startup.

There is competition. Sure, but where isn't completion?
There is turbulence. Newer ideas and technologies threaten existing structures.
This world of ours has always been turbulent.
There is nothing called the 'good old days' except in the cliche handbooks of lazy writers and senile old people.

Quality will out.
As long as you are able to serve what your community/readers/viewers/listeners require, you will do fine.

Start at finding out your own group of people who will listen to you.
In my experience, people who share your passions will be the first one to listen to you and talk with you.

This is the new reality that people from journalism backgrounds fail to grasp.
The Online Journalist is a community builder from start.

Seth Godin says, "Build your own tribe."
For that to happen, you will have to be interested in the world.

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