Monday, November 24, 2008

Madd Money: The Challenge of Unique Blogging

OK, I confess, I am really a man of very limited individual ideas. Almost nothing I write about stems from any terribly unique or creative space. Most of the time, a blog post is spawned because someone else has posed a question, or has written about something similar. Every once in awhile, I get on a high horse about something because an activity in my own life has spurred me to think about something, but honestly, there’s very little out there that I am writing about that hasn’t been covered by a bout a zillion other bloggers (and yes, I know, there aren’t really a zillion bloggers out there ;) ).

I try my best to not deliberately filch other people’s posts, but I have to be honest... Many times an article or a day’s post is spawned because of another blog that I read that has a similar idea. My post a few days ago about sharing conversion moments was a direct development of my reading J.D. Roth’s “Get Rich Slowly” blog. His post wasn’t about conversion; it was about talking to parents and other about making sound financial choices, and how that can often be a difficult thing to do. In these cases, I want to make sure that I do not take any undue credit for something that isn’t really an original idea; I gave J.D. credit for the ideas because, really, his article spawned my own.

At the same time, I’m looking to try to find my own voice, and my own way of reflecting things that interest and intrigue me. Still, even when I do run across or consider something on my own, it’s a good bet that someone else has also already covered it. I find Dave Ramsey and Eric Tyson to provide what amounts to excellent yet slightly differing opinions on Personal Finance. I’ll be the first to admit that these two men and the principles they have written about are where much of my philosophy of investing stems from. There are many times where I realize that my sharing any kind of “wisdom” related to the Personal Finance could also be better served by my just saying “look, do a search for Dave Ramsey and Eric Tyson. Read what they have to say!” Of course, the same could be said for Trent over at Simple Dollar or J.D. at Get Rich Slowly. If they are covering all of this stuff already, why would anyone want to read what *I* have to say about any of this?

It’s taken me a while to understand this, but the reason I read Trent and J.D. and other bloggers is not for their ground-breaking knowledge or unique principles… I read them because they are very much like me… everyday, regular, non professional people interested in finance, that look to their own behavior and actions, and share their own experiments with others. In many cases, this sharing may show good choices, or it may show bad choices. Inevitably, though, it shows their choices in a way that allows me to see how everyday real people with real families and real issues deal with things. Trent is in Iowa, J.D. is in Oregon, so their take of course comes from the part of the country they are from. I’m from the San Francisco Peninsula, so of course my take comes from where I call home. Much of the country, and those who might read my words, may not find much inspiration from what I may say, because they don’t have the challenges I face living in the San Francisco Bay Area… but there are those that do live here, so its possible that my take on these things may have some impact after all :).

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