Yesterday C.C. Chapman wrote a fabulous post on why we need ‘next level’ conferences. Please check it out, and there are a TON of amazing comments, I am still going through them all. I did want to take a slightly different take on this issue because as I’ve seen in the past, when someone raises a ‘someone needs to do this’ post like this, typically most people read that as ‘someone else‘. Not knocking C.C.’s post at all, it’s a great discussion starter, but human nature being what it is, most people will wait for someone else to make that move.
So instead of making it about ‘someone else’, I started thinking about how individuals as content creators and speakers can take our content to the ‘next level’. I think the best speakers and content creators like C.C. are already doing this. Most of the audiences we write and speak for are interested in more 101-level content. But not everyone, some people are wanting more, and some of those people started out at the 101-level, but thanks to our content, they are now at a more advanced stage.
Which brings me to the topic of adding ‘easter eggs’ to our blog posts. If you are a gamer, you are familiar with the concept of an easter egg. It’s a small addition to a game that really isn’t required to complete the game, and will typically go un-noticed by the ‘casual’ gamer. It’s typically hidden, so it’s a type of reward for the gamers that are willing to do more exploring and to look everywhere.
Here’s an example. In the game Batman: Arkham City, if you go to a certain place in the game at a certain time and do a certain thing, you are rewarded with a cameo appearance from Killer Croc:
Now I am going to corrupt the gamer’s definition of an ‘easter egg’ here a bit when I talk about adding them to your blog posts. To a gamer, an easter egg is a reward in the sense that it’s cool and fun, but it doesn’t typically make them a better gamer or better at the game they are playing. What I’m suggesting is what if you add ‘easter eggs’ to your blog posts that did make your more advanced readers better?
For example, my audience here is like most social media blogs, typically made up of people looking for 101-level social media help. So while I want to cater to that audience, an example of adding an easter egg might be to add a tip to the post that the 101-level reader isn’t ready for, but that the 201-level reader is looking for. How many times have you read a blog post and seen the author add a ‘Pro Tip’? This is the same basic idea, add more advanced content or tips to ‘reward’ the more advanced readers.
To be honest, this is something I probably don’t do a very good job with. I tend to forget about what happens to the readers that are ready for more advanced content because of my posts. Recently on #Blogchat we talked about the idea of creating Topic Buckets to help blog more often and to give structure to the content you create.
Maybe to add another layer to that, we should consider adding 201 level content as well?
For example, the idea with Topic Buckets was that if you could come up with say 4 main subjects you wanted to cover on your blog, then if you could write one post a week for each bucket, then you’ve written 4 posts a week! But what if you also added a learning context to those buckets, and said that 3 of your weekly posts would be 101-level, and one would be 201 level?
I will have to noodle on this for a while, in the meanwhile, what do you think about this idea of adding ‘easter eggs’ to blog posts, or even writing more advanced posts on occasion?