One way to get out of a creative rut according to the book A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech is to make your sacred cows into steaks. While bloggers tend to be creative people for the most part it is also easy for them to fall into a groupthink rut where everyone is doing the same old things because that’s the way it’s always been done. They may even try to stop others from experimenting with new things like the monkeys in this US Navy experiment.
Where’s the BBQ?
However, there are a few bloggers that regularly host a sacred cow barbeque, often to the consternation of many others in the blogosphere.
Ironically, one of these bloggers is John Cow. His blog started as a “thinking outside the box” exercise by parodying John Chow. More recently he started a paid Wiki and sold it , titled a post with an offensive word, and did a fake hack of his site. Just about every move he makes tosses another blogosphere sacred cow on the grill. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires, you may not like him but you have to agree that his antics have made his blog quite a destination on the Internet.
Another grillmaster is Kumiko at CashQuests. Her most recent sacred cow steak was Secret Google Admin Area Lets You Change Search Rankings that raised some hackles. Other articles like Good Little Bloggers Don’t Get Rich, Internet 2007: Where The Remarkable Get Rich And The Boring Die Broke and Only Losers Try To Make Money Online have cooked up controversy as well. UPDATE: Kumiko cashed out a while ago so CashQuests is pretty pitiful these days. Thus, I’m nofollowing these links.
Time For Your Own BBQ?
While I’m not as extreme as those two, I threw a few on the grill here by doing a 200 post blogging blitz here in October, by not sticking to a well defined set of topics and by giving away a lot of non-reciprocal links and free blog reviews. Taking a different, somewhat experimental, approach has been one of my goals here and it will continue to be one.
Is it time that you turn your sacred cows into steaks?
Here are some steps you can take to fire up your creative grill.
1. Ask why am I doing things this way?
If you can’t answer this then you might have your cow right there in front of you.
2. Ask does this reason still exists?
Maybe you had a good reason not to do something offbeat at first, but is it still a good idea? For example, you may have started on a free host like WordPress.com or Blogger but should you still be there?
3. Ask what are the pluses and minuses of continuing to do things this way?
There could be very good reasons to continue doing what you’ve been doing. Weigh your new ideas honestly against the status quo. Sometimes no change is needed, sometimes a little change and sometimes a destructive change is required.
Are you ready to fire up the grill at your blog?
Do you or a blogger you know regularly throw a sacred cow on the grill?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.