Friday, December 11, 2009
The idea of all this was to nudge the industry out of its complacency and let it be known that the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s - where a family company made up of papà (boss), mamma (secretary) and figlio (communications director) was the norm - were over. Where the average Italian luxury goods company had three employees (see above), the average Chinese or Indian company had something like 3,000. The experts went on to say that in Italy hiring was done within families whereas hiring was done in China and India based on who the right person for the job was. At the end, Italian executives filed out ashen-faced and too anxious to get festive at the post-conference cocktail hour.
I've been thinking about that "innovate or be exterminated" theme lately as it pertains to my blog. I've always seen this blog as kind of a public Web journal about my life in Italy, and I enjoyed the interaction with other bloggers who were more or less doing the same. In the last few years, the landscape has changed and suddenly I feel like one of the few who hasn't "innovated." I've never done book reviews, guest posts, advertorials, product plugs or the like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above (for some people, their blogs are platforms for businesses they run, so it is absolutely understandable that they'd go that route) as long as bloggers give full disclosure. Nonetheless, suddenly I feel like I'm sitting at a long Italian lunch table yammering on about myself while everyone else is making business deals on their Blackberries. That leaves me feeling slightly uncomfortable.
Lately whenever I think about posting, I hesitate because I think "Oh, writing about that would be so 2006." Or if I see or do something cool, I just tweet it. Why write 300 words on that interesting art exhibit I saw when I can just tweet the link? Today, many expat blogs are slicker, more professional, more targeted, more focused and much less personal. So that is where I'm at right now. I'm thinking of ways I could innovate (or even start a new blog - I have a few ideas) while still being myself and not giving so much away that I feel like that girl - you know, the loquacious one at the lunch table who had too much vino rosso.
P.S. The fact that the publishing industry (as I've always known it) is dying does nothing to make me feel confident about a future where one can make a living writing. Career change suggestions?