Another Day, Another PDF File

by The Guy February 20th, 2007 

Every morning I get asked by two associates what I'm going to blog about today. It's fun and fulfilling even if it is only two people. And every morning I tell them I don't know. Mostly because I don't. I like to write either first thing in the morning or early afternoon. If the morning, I've had an opportunity to think about things. If in the afternoon it's because something has happened in the process of the day that intrigues me.

It's 2:36 PM now.

Today it's .pdf files. To me, pdf files are the Internet equivalent of Michigan J Frog from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. You know the one.

J Michigan Frog

Creating content and then burying it again is something I've never really understood. Not from a user perspective requiring another click from me. And not from a search perspective, although the search engines have gotten much better with it.

It's not so much the .pdf as the mindset. To me, a pdf company is generally a sign of one of two things: either a very traditional offline company or a very staunch corporation. Today in my travels, I've come across both. And, in all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with either, really. They do business in a very prescribed, orthodox manner which in some ways is pretty great because you get metrics, timelines, deliverables and processes.

On the downside, you get metrics, timelines, deliverables and processes.

So today is about the difference between blog companies and .pdf companies. Maverick versus established.

I'm fascinated by start-ups, and remember well my favorite Internet years, those when The Industry Standard was exactly that, with Fast Company and Business 2.0 growing by exponential advertising pages with each new issue. And I read voraciously about these new fangled things the kids are doing today on blogs like OnStartUps by Dharmesh Shah.

I remember nights with friends envisioning start ups, writing business plans, creating software. I remember the hope and the risk and the learning curve. And the disappointment.

In the end, I've come to learn that I'm not an entrepreneur but I have the great good fortune to work in a company where ideas, innovation and responsive are valued commodities and I have something to contribute. I might have the occasional day where I feel like Michigan J Frog or a .pdf file as I watch new things come fast and furious and find myself wishing now why didn't I? but most days I'm happy just writing a blog and studying search engine rhythms.

…although I'd still like to build a search engine…. That's why I work for a search marketing company. And it would be a search engine where there would be no pdf files allowed. To borrow from Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing: No one puts content in a pdf file.

~ The (SEP) Guy

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