My Simple Advice to Aspiring Tech Commentators

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

This is really niche, I know, but if you are lurking on tech Twitter and want to start growing an audience via social media, writing, or video, I have one piece of advice I’d give to everyone: make your content additive, not negative.

I don’t mean to say everything you create needs to be happy-go-lucky, but you should try to have your content add to the overall conversation. You should be trying to make content that gives people value, and this is the most common thing I see people get wrong when they make a run at this (I definitely do this too, although I think I make this mistake far less these days). Here’s a basic example…

A link post to another blogger where your comment is something like “this guy is wrong, I can’t believe they think like this,” is negative content. It adds nothing to the conversation, and you’re certainly not making friends doing it. However, that same link post with something like, “I think this person is wrong, here’s an alternative idea that I can defend,” is way better.

Make people think, don’t try to make them think you’re smarter than the other guy.

On a related note, I often see people thinking their content is too “small” and that they need to produce beefy content that is thousands of words or 10+ minute YouTube videos. First off, beefy content (should make this a tag on this site…) takes longer to make, likely won’t get any more traffic than your small stuff, and isn’t even what a lot of your potential audience wants. Sure, we all like a good longform article sometimes, but most people want smaller pieces of information they can consume quickly so they can get on with their lives.

Say what you want and stop, this isn’t a high school essay with a page limit, so keep it as short as possible. Nothing kills a blog post or YouTube video like unnecessary padding.