When You Replace Bad Habits, You Make Room For Better Ones

My recent post where I discussed kicking my blogging habit lacked clarity. Ergo, I’ve got some explaining to do.

I thought this line from the post would carry weight: “By blogging I refer to the light- to medium-weight updates that often refer to a primary source.” But it didn’t.

I also thought this line would also make things clear: “To be clear, I’m not walking away from AdPulp, I’m changing my daily routine.” But it didn’t.

If I simply followed the example set by other well read bloggers, I would have written a post titled, “Blogging Is Dead.” I would have also made a list giving you reasons one through ten to support my claim. But, I prefer to run against the grain, here and elsewhere. And that my friends is the root of the problem. By relying on the stack of press releases in my inbox and MarCom articles posted elsewhere to find something to write about, I lost my way. This kind of blogging is reactive, and I want to be proactive.

When you’re reactive, as just about every ad blog is, there’s a tendency to become a promoter, not a critic. I don’t want to be a promoter. So, I stepped off for a month plus, in order to reevaluate and chart a new path. The new path is this: AdPulp is a side-project, and must be treated as such (so I can focus on making a living). When I do post here, I want the content to be exclusive. And I want every post to be carefully crafted, so it builds our brand and offers you real value.

We’ve moved through many phases in seven and half years on this project. There was a time when I put up four, five even six posts a day. There are ad blogs that do this today. Lord knows, there’s a glut of material to work with. But I don’t want to provide comprehensive coverage of our industry. I want to offer you thought nuggets.

Jim Schmidt of Downtown Partners in Chicago asked the other day: “Why can’t the ad press cover the ad world nearly as well as Gawker or Daily Beast? Too busy blowing smoke up the asses of their favorite New York ad execs?”

I replied: “Great question. I’d say fear. Like White House reporters, no one wants to lose access. The problem with that is there is no access to begin with. Just PR. What advertising pro wants a real journalist up in their grill? When we prop up shitty products, we set ourselves up for the hard questions, but there’s no one there to ask them. Is there?”

I’ve struggled with the idea of being this real reporter and filling this void. This was especially true when I held a staff job, because I didn’t want my work here to come back to bite my agency in the ass. Now, that I’ve been out on my own for three and a half years, these concerns have waned.

To sum up, AdPulp is headed in a new direction. There will be less content, but the content we do offer will be well worth reading. The rush to post is over. This isn’t a race, and buying in to the notion that we must post every day to remain relevant is wrong.

By the way, we will be introducing a series of Sponsored Posts, where we will cover various topics each week — like Search, or Social — and pay experts in the field to produce these original articles (something Ad Age does not do). If you want to write these articles, or pay for them, please let me know.

Photo credit: Library of Congress



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.