Saturday, June 14, 2008

Personality Goes a Long Way

We're about ready to start an Acorn Energy blog. We figure John's a likable writer with some entertainingly contrarian opinions about energy and investing. We think we have a nice, diverse mix of portfolio company executives that can offer unique perspectives from the exotic frontiers of the industry. And we hope I can fill in the gaps by writing similarly to how I write here, only consistently succinctly and with a touch more focus.

We're still a little while from being ready to go, however. We need a name. We need to solidify a look and feel. We need to make sure everyone's comfortable with communication and editorial exchange. And need to figure out how to best organize the pieces and divvy the responsibilities on a team effort company blog.

Everyone's on board with the project's big focus. We want to raise questions, offer opinions, and start conversations that our readers (a group we hope will eventually consist of our investors, energy industry people, other venture investors, cleantech buffs, etc.) will find valuable. And we figure: give us a little practice and feedback, and we'll be able to do that well.

I'm still doing a bit of struggling, however, with the lack of a personality at the center of the blog. What I love about Pmarca, what I love about No Impact Man, what I love about AVC and Joel on Software and Seth's Blog and recent discovery James Fallows is that their writing is theirs and theirs alone, and their blogs, in addition to asking questions and offering info and starting conversations, give readers window after window into their distinctly individual and human minds.

Based on my experience as a reader, it seems a lot harder to showcase personality and achieve conversational intimacy on more "professional" blog or a blog that has multiple authors.

Union Square Ventures (the venture capital firm at which Fred Wilson of AVC is a partner) does it well I think. The Breakthrough Blog isn't bad at it. But there are heaps of others that I think would do a much better job of holding my attention if they focused more on the people and less on the company or topic.

As always, it's possible that I'm a statistically outlying opinion on this one. Maybe most people love the multiple perspectives thing. Maybe they don't even notice that voices change post to post.

And, maybe, hopefully, on the Acorn blog, we'll be able to introduce our readers to a whole gang of personalties, develop a whole gang of characters.

We'll certainly do the best we can. If anyone wants to help out with thoughts or advice or ideas, however, I'd much appreciate it.

Do you think we can build a multi-voiced, company-centered blog without sacrificing personality? And, if so, how do you think we should go about it?

2 comments: said...

Yes, you can. Take a look at the Buzz Bin - Geoff Livingston started it but now has posts from one or two other colleagues as well. It works out nicely. And it's one of the top marketing blogs in the world! So it worked out...very nicely! Good luck with the blog.

Hey, I'm an entrepreneur and while I don't live and work in the first state, I do spend a lot of time in RB!

Jake de Grazia said...

Big thanks for the recommendation. I just cruised through a bunch of articles. Totally dig the Tools Are Only As Useful As Their Users post.

And sorry if I implied that I'm the only entrepreneur in DE. That would be a truly outrageous claim. I do think, however, that it's not unlikely that I'm the only EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) in the state. Apparently lots of VC firms have EIRs, but Wilmington focuses a lot more heavily on credit cards than venture investment.