by Niall Doherty

Today I’m trying something a little different. Here’s a video update. If you prefer to read, the text below will fill you in.

(Note: if you’re reading this as an e-mail or via a feed reader, you may have to click through to watch the video.)

I was talking with a friend recently, and she was kind enough to be very honest with me. She told me that I come across very different in person than I do online. Now I knew there was a disconnect there and I’ve never been entirely happy with my writing voice, but I didn’t think the gap was huge. My friend begged to differ. We didn’t actually know each other well before becoming Facebook friends a few weeks ago, so most of her initial impression of me came from my Facebook and blog posts. She admitted to being a little hesitant to hang out with me in person, because online I came across fairly preachy and not entirely real. She was pleasantly surprised then to find that I was a lot more real and a lot less preachy in person.

So this got me thinking: how can I let more of the real, in-person me shine through online? And the best answer I’ve come up with is to start doing regular video updates.

So here we are.

The plan going forward is to include a video with every post. I’m not sure how feasible that is yet, but sure I’ll give it my best shot. Each video will be me relaying the important points from the related post. I’ll try to keep them short and sweet.

Overcoming the fear

It had crossed my mind to do video updates many times before, but fear always held me back.

What if people think I look or sound stupid? What if I don’t provide value and end up wasting people’s time? Maybe I should just wait until I’m more comfortable in my own skin and then start doing video updates.

Yeah, all that was fear. I realize now that I’ll look and sound on video pretty much the same way I look and sound in real life, and very few people seem to think I look or sound stupid in real life. I also realize that it’s not up to me to decide if I’m providing value to people. I’ll just try to do the best I can and let people decide for themselves if what I’m providing is valuable. If not, they can just stop watching. No big deal.

And as for waiting until I’m more comfortable in my own skin before I start doing video updates, I just had to remind myself of a significant truth: you don’t overcome the fear and then do the thing, you do the thing and then you overcome the fear. So while it’s likely that my first few video updates will be a little awkward and uncomfortable, I know that diving in and doing it regularly is the fastest way to improve.

One of my favorite quotes reinforces this point:

“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.” – Douglas Engelbart

Feedback welcome

I’d love to get your thoughts on these video updates, especially if you know me in real life as well as online. Like I said, I’m aiming to close the gap between online Niall and real-world Niall, so hopefully you can help me pinpoint the inconsistencies. If you have something to share, please leave a comment below or send me a private message via the contact form.

Here’s to being real 😉


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