The Importance of Keeping It Personal

April 8, 2019

Keeping It Personal

In my last post on Hidden Costs, I talked about companies taking liberties with your relationship. As you might have guessed, your Rent-A-Dad is no fan of that kind of behavior. So imagine my non-surprise when the people at Automattic/WordPress did it again. Get ready to see failure at “Keeping it Personal“.

This idea is immensely important, and becoming ever more so; we have a bunch of neat tools inundating our personal and business lives, but the more we “get” the less we seem happy. The human aspect of relationships is being bred out of the way we move through space each day, and people are finally noticing. This, not incidentally, is one of the most important drivers behind our creation of Rent a Dad.

When our sister company Answer Guy Central was working on The WordPress Helpers, we ran into a lot of resistance from “The WordPress Community”. In that collective’s mind, we were missing the “keeping it personal” angle that they believed their mother-ship was fostering. Now, we see the exact opposite. Last week, WordPress foisted forced advertising on Jetpack, their most important add-on product and one they’d spent years convincing the community was safe—and even good for them.

Not so fast, kids. WordPress took back their sad little folly, but quick. The question is, why did it happen at all?

Keeping It Personal

The answer is all about that failure to keep things personal. Despite WordPress having achieved its dominant position directly on the backs of their community of developers, adding advertising to Jetpack was a case of flat-out ignoring that community.

In business—and in life—connection and community are everything. OK, sure, you need to have a basis for those connections; it’s all fake otherwise. But here’s the thing: you have those connections, somewhere. All you need to do is recognize them—and keep them strong.

And that’s what keeping it personal is all about. Simple, right?


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