Phew – it’s hard work being part of our cities’ feedback system

Just over two weeks ago I wrote about my decision to slowly release my book, Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, as a blog.  Part of that decision was to post a piece of the book Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week, starting Tuesday May 1, 2012.  I have done it for two weeks.  Phew.

Even though I have material written, it has taken a lot of time and focus to turn what I have into a blog post that is remotely cogent and meaningful. It has been useful to condense my thinking.  Most helpful is the insight not to name the post until I am just about done – at that point I seem to find the point of the post.

As I keep doing this, I am mindful that I need to craft accurate invitations to readers.  I aim to pay particular attention to:

  1. A compelling title.  It might be all a readers sees in an RSS feed.  It will also be part of an attractive collection of posts as they become more numerous.  The title itself can be insightful.
  2. A compelling first sentence.  This appears on LinkedIn and facebook, for example.  It must draw readers in.
  3. A compelling personal update.  The title can be used, or slightly modified, for a Twitter/LinkedIn/facebook update.  The words themselves are what will compel a follower to retweet or forward my update and link.
  4. A post that provides links to others’ work.  As I explore, it is important for me to notice, for myself and others, the work on which I am building.  This models how economic life works.
  5. Writing what is wanting to emerge from me. I trust that each of us has a passion that is worth following.
  6. Being part of our cities’ feedback system.  As a writer, my work is, in part, to reflect on cities and how we organize ourselves.  I share what I see.
I have to confess I am looking forward to a break from blogging for a couple days.  But I know I will be itching to post again on Monday.  The pressure is welcome.
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