Thursday, September 30, 2010

Videojug Is Calling

I got some fan mail the other day. Well, I suspect it was more spam mail than fan mail, still it was very nice to hear from Jemma who told me she had come across my blog and was "really impressed".

Turns out Jemma is the editor of and was inviting me to contribute to her site. She wrote, "I'd like to invite you to join our growing community of writers (it's 100% Free)." The 100% Free part, by the way, seems to refer to the writers' contributions - as in, you donate your work to the site and hope that you will generate enough traffic to get a share of whatever advertising there is on your pages. Which means, it's most likely that your work will indeed be 100% Free.

Now may sound like the digital version of one of those 1950's style men's magazines, but in fact it is a how-to website. Jemma calls it the "world's leading" how-to site, but then I'm not sure who else is in the game. Here's what she wrote: "We've just launched a powerful new self-publishing website that helps people with unique know-how and expertise (i.e., you) connect with our knowledge-hungry audience." One of the benefits is I could "build an online audience" and "become an authority on (my) favorite subjects".

That's a tempting proposition. I mean, who wouldn't want to be an authority with an online audience? But here's my problem. Just what is my unique know-how and expertise that could make me an authority? I wonder how much, if any, of this blog Jemma read because I cannot think of very much in here that would suggest that I might be an expert-in-hiding that her "knowledge-hungry" audience needs to discover. In fact, most of my family think of me as a how-NOT-to sort of person.

Doesn't matter. I need to figure out what I can be an expert about. 
I suppose there are a few areas I could tackle, but do people really need instructional pieces on how to how to determine when cocktail hour should start? Or yes, I could write about how to do Wii Fit exercises, but I do think you should be able to complete a workout without falling over before you try to teach others how to do it.

I am somewhat knowledgeable about fixing a toaster when the element has burnt out. But the do-it-yourself-ers might be dissatisfied to learn that the secret is to screw it up several times and write several blog posts about it, then hope your spouse secretly takes it to a friend who fixes it before you kill yourself. I don't know, maybe they would enjoy such a novel approach to home electrical repairs. But I doubt it.

I could write a lot of essays about playing online poker, but my hunch is that most people want to learn how to win, not lose. And I could write lots about how to write a blog, but again I suspect that most potential readers are more interested in how to write a blog that gets an audience of more than 12 people (13 if I count Jemma).

I suppose, if anything, this blog is about retirement and after a couple of years I should have learned a few things. Yes, I could write a piece on how to retire, but after I say, "Don't go to work any more," there's not a lot more to add. Now, how to retire and avoid eating cat food when your money runs out would truly be a topic worth writing about. Only, I am not sure I know the answer to that myself. In fact, I think I will go to and see if there's anyone there who can help me with that.

In the meantime, I guess I will have to set Jemma's invitation aside until I can think of some niche where I can become a worldwide authority. Or at least a worldwide web authority - I think there is a pretty big difference. Come to think of it, there was a teaser on the home page of Jemma's website this morning. "Get good at making a decision," it said. Maybe I'd better check that one out jiffy quick. A knowledge-hungry audience is probably awaiting.


Maggi said...

Don, you're really funny (and a good writer too). I got the same offer from Jemma and decided to google Videojug. That's how I found your comments. Gave me my smile for the day. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think the same. Got this invitation to and wnanted to know more about videojug. the invitation was just a fake, with pseudo-personal sound, they sent to every blog they could find on google. don't believe that you can get an "authority" with videojug - and only they benefit from it. just another approach, to let the users, who believe to be able to become internet-stars, make the work. all the comments on this "how to become a founder member-site" seem fakes to me.

Scrappi Sandi said...

I have enjoyed dropping by & having a giggle at your writings!!...I was given the link here by a fellow blogger who also recieved Jemma's invite...when I got mine I asked whether she thought it a scam...alarm bells rang when I read about the 50/50 revenue share!!! You have put so succinctly what I had been thinking, so I'm taking a leaf out of your book & setting my invite to one side (deleting!)...but I probably won't even give videojug another thought!!! I may well be popping back here though!!! TTFN :)