I was inspired at two levels: firstly, by the thousands of people who were taking part in the Marathon for a thousand individual reasons to achieve personal goals or to do something for others by raising money for charity. And I was also inspired by the athletes in the Elite races, for the most part professionals now, who were competing for the top honours and to win the race itself. Incredible talent, work and commitment.
It is this mix that, for me, makes the London Marathon and the other major city marathons around the world events like no others as they bring together runners of all abilities, with differing motivations, goals and expectations then giving them a place to express this.
I am compelled to say that, albeit in a very different way, the blogosphere offers similar opportunities.
How so? Well …
- The mix of bloggers for starters. There are expert bloggers – the so called ‘A’ List bloggers – who are trailblazers in many respects and have shown us the way that blogs can be used. There are also those who earn a living from blogging and of course the many millions that write, with varying success, either from a business or personal perspective.
- People blog for many different reasons – these may stem from the desire to publish their thoughts and raise their profiles in the case of personal bloggers, through to corporate blogs intended to develop prospects, partnerships and sales.
- Both require Planning and Preparation – to be successful, the hours of practice that the runner puts in is mirrored by the conscientious blogger spending time in researching, writing and publicising their blogs.
- Cooperation and mutual help is the name of the game – there is an attitude of cooperation that seems to exist between bloggers which is mirrored in the way that they reference and support each other through linking, advice etc. I saw the same community spirit in the marathon with runners encouraging others and helping them to finish.
- Enthusiasm: blogging is all about expertise and authenticity in my opinion and, at the core of that, is the enthusiasm you need to be dedicated enough to make a real go of blogging, whatever your aims.
- Practice makes perfect – knowledge and reputation grows over time, so it is likely that a blogger will need to persevere to make an impact and gain the respect of their readers and peers.
As a result, I believe that the analogy is valid and that the diversity, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm that I witnessed last Sunday is also present in the blogosphere, demonstrated by those who wish to take the medium seriously and/or use it for their own ends.
It was also a useful reminder, as I close off both this analogy and the comparison, that developing and running a successful blog is much more akin to participating in a marathon than it is to running a sprint.