The blogosphere has changed. The euphoria that marked the rise of the blogosphere has been muted by reality (also known as the global economic meltdown). The passion that characterized the most prominent bloggers has given way to the problems that characterize "success."
Even I'm disappointed in the changes that have taken place in the blogosphere, despite the fact that my role as a D-list contrarian blogger was to point out the inevitable bust that was coming.
My alter ego, Drama 2.0, was born in late 2006 and in internet years, that makes him an old man - old enough to reflect on his life. I've been spending a bit of time enjoying the beach lately and that's always conducive to reflection.
I've learned a few lessons as an anonymous blogger over the past couple of years and I'd like to share them with you.
Content is king. You won't find The Drama 2.0 Show on the Technorati 100 and I don't have millions of readers but I have managed to create my own niche and build a small but loyal readership by producing good content.
Since nobody knew who I was and I wasn't an industry insider, I couldn't rely on a "personal brand" to build an audience. My product - my content - was the only thing going for me.
Sometimes you're able to leverage external assets to build business but when you're forced to rely on the strength of your product, you learn how good your core asset is - or isn't.
Stay true to your beliefs. How do you produce good content as a blogger? Write about what you believe in.
When it came to Web 2.0 and all the related hype, I believed firmly that the emperor had no clothes. It didn't matter if I was right or wrong, I produced content that reflected my personal beliefs. And I still do. It helps, of course, that I was right.
There's nothing wrong with being an acquired taste. The Drama 2.0 Show definitely isn't for everyone. It doesn't have the appeal of a mainstream blog because my opinions aren't mainstream.
Instead of sugar-coating my posts and trying to cater to a larger audience, I was happy to stay niche.
In my opinion, a lot of blogs in the Web 2.0 space have become stale because the euphoria of the moment masked the fact that the content (and people behind it) really didn't have personality. That's all fine and well but being able to ride a single trend is a lot different than having the personality that enables you to jump on a new one.
You can remain anonymous. I can count on one hand the number of people who know who Drama 2.0 is. I can count on the other hand the number of people who think they know who Drama 2.0 is (plausible deniability).
When I started blogging, people told me I'd come out. And there have been attempts to lure me out. I've turned down invitations to parties, free meals and yes, even a few introductions to young attractive women.
Yet here I am. Still Drama 2.0. To be honest, maintaining anonymity hasn't been difficult so I'll put it this way: if you want to remain anonymous, nothing is stopping you except your ego and will.
Do it for yourself. This may sound selfish but I'll be honest - I've always blogged for myself.
This is not to say that I don't enjoy feedback from readers and I don't get value out of the perspectives of others but at the end of the day, I blog for me.
I blog because I enjoy analyzing things, dissecting arguments, sharpening my writing skills and staying on top of subjects I'm interested in.
Bottom line: blogging should be personally rewarding.
Sometimes you have to reinvent yourself. Top entertainers reinvent themselves multiple times over the course of their careers. It's a creative necessity and frankly, I think everyone needs at least 3 alter egos.
Given the state of the blogosphere, I suspect reinvention may be a necessity for bloggers too.
Which begs the question that I've been pondering - who should I become next? Who could I become next?