The blog title is how Seth Godin describes his powerful work as a permission marketer and author of numerous best-selling books. There exists a tension between digging in with both heels and throwing in the towel. How do you know when you are hiking through muck only to be rewarded by a beautiful vista or meadow around the bend? Or when it is muck, has been muck, and will always be muck?
Nobody can answer that question for you--only you can decide to continue to show up, challenge the status quo and follow your passion. But I like hearing from others that have been where we all sit from time to time. I try to articulate something similar to individuals seeking mentorship. Many seem to want a recipe or a step by step guide. Entrepreneurship is more like cooking a casserole and less like baking. Precision is needed in making a soufflé but a few bad bits will be forgiven in your casserole when you add more of the crowd pleasers--think more bacon.
This weekend the hubs and I walked down to our local library. I peruse the new non-fiction section from time to time, looking to see what I can find. We are Data: Algorithms and Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold was an unexpected little treasure.
Two things came to mind. Even if you aren't writing in a digital environment with any regularity you are generating huge amounts of data. So much so that Google has created a profile of who you are. Don't believe me? Go to www.google.com/ads/preferences. They may have your age and or gender wrong but your purchasing category is all that matters to the algorithm. I am flattered that my age range is 10 years younger--and yes, I am still female.
The question is posed. If you are generating data, and nobody is around to "see" it, did it happen? Timely conundrum for me--I tend not to follow the analytics around the commoditization of writing or thought leadership unless I notice an aberration. LinkedIn is one metric that continues to obfuscate. I will never understand posts that render close to 10,000 reads while others top out around 20. I would argue I am at once not that particularly interesting as well as not that dull. So what gives? I smell an algorithm.
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I am still reading the book. Algorithms fascinate me and so does the obsession around AI and machine learning.
In the absence of human oversight AI will simply learn the noise in our data. How do we grasp more oversight of our data-selves? I will keep you posted...