Jeff Jarvis recently pointed to Neil McIntosh’s sound advice to journalism students:
Again, for those at the back: if you think you want to be a journalist, I now don’t think there’s any excuse not to have a blog. The closer you get to looking around for jobs, the better it should be maintained. If you enter the jobs market without one, no matter how good your degree, you’re increasingly likely to lose out to people who better present all they can do, and have the experience of creating and curating their own site.
But to think this advice is useful only to journalists is shortsighted. It’s useful to anyone working in the communications field, where critical thinking, persuasive writing and presentation are paramount. In fact, this advice is critical for anyone whose existence depends on presenting and exposing what they can do. To me, that would seem to be most people in a democracy — in business, culture, technology, religion, education, law and government among all other areas.
But let’s not get caught up in the specific platform of the day — the blog, for instance. I believe in blogging, as evidence by AttentionMax. But the critical underlying spirit is the value of nurturing a compelling identity in this age of digital and multimedia. We’re all individuals, and we all must market ourselves as a first step to anything. And as I, and others, have said before, to market to people, one must also market to algorithms.
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