Becoming a must-read blog (or, tackling my RSS feeds)

As part of my year-end housecleaning, I’ve been trying to catch up on the 30 or so blogs that are in my RSS feed.  It’s been time-consuming and stressful.

(for those of you not using an RSS reader, I encourage you to start.  It makes blog-reading incredibly easy and frees up your Inbox too.  I use Bloglines but Google Reader or any reader out there will do).

I discovered that the blogs I subscribe to fall into four categories:

  1. Must-read blogs: absolutely read every day
  2. The contenders: potential to move to must-read status
  3. Shoulda/Coulda/Woulda: read only in catch-up mode/am planning to delete
  4. Wildcards: New, recently added, haven’t figured out what to do with them

“Must-read blogs” are the blogs I’m passionate about.  If someone asked me, “what blogs should I absolutely read?” these are the ones I’d name.  The rest are just the rest.

If you’re a blogger, think about what it takes to make it to someone’s must-read list: they have to hear about you, read a post, be excited by that post, read some more, add you to their reader or an email feed, and keep on reading daily…. until you’ve worked your way into the fabric of their day.  Phew!  That’s a lot of work.

So I’m flattered and thankful that I’ve made it onto some of your must-read lists.  I know how valuable your attention is and how short everyone is on time, and I know that every day you make a small decision to keep me on that list.  So thank you.

I do hope that you keep on reading, and that, when the mood strikes you (and I write a post that’s compelling enough) that you keep on spreading the word about this blog.  (Commenting and pingbacks and forwards all count).

Also, I’d like to ask you dedicated readers tell me more of what you’d like to hear about in 2009.  Write a comment on this post or just email me directly via the Contact form.

The corollary here is if you’re in a nonprofit, your constituents (Board members, advisors, donors) have their own implicit list of where you fit in with their priorities.  And it’s easy to confuse the people who have the biggest names or write the biggest checks with the people who are most important to you.

Hint: these people ARE important, but they’re often not as important as those people who put you on their “must-read list.”

For example, if a major donor just told you that they were planning on giving to you this year, but other organizations they support are more in need, you’ve just learned that you’re important to them but not at the top of their list.  Listen to that feedback and act on it in 2009.  You want to build an organization that’s at the top of lots of (powerful, smart, influential, visionary) people’s list, and you want to figure out how to engage and motivate those folks who love you best – to journey together with you in the coming year and to co-create the change you’re trying to make in the world.

Lots of work to do, but it’s exciting.

Here’s wishing all of you a Happy New Year.  You have my thanks and gratitude for tuning in.

Be well.

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5 Responses to Becoming a must-read blog (or, tackling my RSS feeds)

  1. Pam says:

    Sasha, this is exactly why you’re on my must-read list. It’s not often these days my RSS feed count gets down to zero, in fact, it’s rare it gets under 1,000!

    I’m only a recent reader here; I jumped over when Seth Godin linked to your manifesto, which I related with so much I immediately sent it to my boss and shared it with my entire development department. I think you are talking about things that are very important to nonprofit professionals in general and fundraisers in particular. I know there’s a better way out there than constant fundraising, and I hope to keep working toward that concept.

    Personally I enjoy the kind of investigative-curious blog posts about long-term nonprofit infrastructure and how we can make our industry stronger and more sustainable.

    Keep up the good work! Now I’m off to declutter my RSS feed…

  2. Jason K. says:

    Sasha: Like Pam, I found you through Seth. I subscribe to your blog because you’re passionate about non-profits and marketing, two of my favorite subjects. Any writing you do in these areas will continue to keep my attention. :)

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