An increasingly popular buzzword in online marketing today is ?transparency.?
It means the more you reveal about yourself to your prospects, the more they will bond with ? and hopefully buy from ? you.
Transparency is contrary to the classic copywriting rule stated so eloquently by my old direct mail mentor Sig Rosenblum decades ago:
?The reader isn?t interested in you. The reader is interested in her needs, fears, concerns, problems, and desires.?
Transparency represents a paradigm shift of the prospect’s attention from herself to you, the marketer.
Is transparency true? Do you really care which blend the CEO of Starbucks drinks ? or whether Joe Vitale is buying yet another expensive sports car?
I have trouble believing anyone cares much about what I do, like, or think. (Of course, I am more boring than Joe.)
But in case I am wrong, and transparency is what you crave, here are 15 things about me I probably haven?t told you before:
1?I am a grumpy old man ? over 50 ? who is increasingly alienated from our youth-oriented culture.
2?I am a luddite. I don?t own a Blackberry ? a PDA ? a Bluetooth … a wireless laptop ? an iPod ? an iPhone ? a Kindle … or even a cell phone. Nor do I have any need of or use for them.
3?If you held a gun to my head and said I had to send a text message over a cell phone, or a photo over the Internet, or you?d shoot me ? I?d be dead. I do not know how to do these things and have no interest in learning.
4?Although the Internet has eroded my attention span like it has everyone else?s, I am still an avid reader of books, both fiction and nonfiction.
5?While I read widely on a variety of topics, I have recently returned to science fiction, the preferred genre of my youth, and have put up a science fiction web site: www.sciencefictionprediction.com
5?I buy and listen to music on CDs. I do not download from iTunes.
6?Although I read CNN.com every day, my preferred mode of getting news is a newspaper ? a medium my teenage sons say is the most absurd thing they have ever seen.
7?I don?t watch much TV. I enjoy TV as a medium, but there?s not much on I like. I wish there were. My favorite show was Gordon Ramsey?s Kitchen Nightmares, and I hope it comes back.
8?My main hobby, aside from reading, is keeping tropical fish. I have a web site dedicated to this hobby: www.aquariumdetective.com. The latest addition to my aquarium is a freshwater stingray.
9?I also like nature, particularly lakes and rivers. We have a weekend home on a lake, and naturally I have a web site on that too: www.livingonalake.com
10?In school, my original major was chemistry (later changed to chemical engineering), and my goal was to be a scientist.
11?I am not entrepreneurial by nature. The primary reason I became a freelancer in 1982 was that my company asked me to relocate and I did not want to go.
12?I am a homebody. I do not like to travel ? and with rare exception, I don?t.
13?I love writing. I agree with (I think it was) Noel Coward who said: ?Work is more fun than fun.? My two favorite activities are reading and writing.
14?I have two teenage boys, Alex and Stephen, and the most important thing in the world to me is being a good dad.
15?I got married at a young age, in my 20s, and was the only one of my friends to do so. Amy and I have been happily married for 26 years, and we will continue to be so for as long as I live or until she changes her mind.
So there?s my transparency in a nutshell.
Now I have to ask: Is this list as boring to you as it is to me?
Or are these things you really want to know ? and if so, for heaven?s sake why?