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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So I guess this is a beard blog now

Most of the comments on my first ever video post (how exciting and modern!) were about my facial hair. And there were lots of tweets about the beard, too.

I'm not entirely certain how I feel about that (yes I am, I think it's rad), but in any case it brings up an interesting thing to consider.

Nobody gives a shit about your video post, or about the content. The only important thing is whether people want to talk about it.

Sure, people didn't talk about precisely what I'd hoped they would, but they (you) talked.

It gave people something to talk about on a Monday. The conversation about my horrible beard probably made a few people chuckle. Not the video, not the beard, but the conversation.

That's interesting, that's cool. And maybe that makes this blog a little bit more worth coming back to.

Conversation is the point, after all. Rad.

EDIT: See Anonymous's great comment (2nd one down) about this. He/she makes some great points.


IMYsHO said...

I wonder who would comment on your beard? And a beard blog??? haha! ;-.)

Anonymous said...

Your content was about your blog, they didn't talk about it - they talked about your *appearance*. On a side note; I wonder if there would have been so many comments about a change in the way you look if you were a female?

The conversation created by your post and by your content was mostly about the way you looked. Sure it will get people to possibly return to your blog, but didn't they somehow miss the point? Or did you? Somehow, I find that sad.

Joel Kelly said...

Anon: People felt comfortable talking about my appearance because they know that I'm okay with it. They know me. People who didn't know me before know me a little better now.

That's good enough for me right now.

Also, there are different rules for talking about the appearances of men and women. Now, I'm not for a second suggesting I think that's necessarily a good thing, but that's just the way it is right now.

And my beard was more interesting to people than my "content". That says a hell of a lot more about my content than it does my beard, I think.

Joel Kelly said...

Anon: So you're saying that if I went up to a woman and said, "so, you're hair's getting a bit long there... probably time for a trim..." that might not be completely appropriate?

Amy said...

Joel just told me my hair looked ratty and I am a skid. Please feel free to continue commenting on the beard, everyone.

Joel Kelly said...

Amy: I was being helpful, and that's only partially true.

Anonymous said...

Does it say something about your content or something about the people commenting?? I suggest the latter; friends or no friends.

There is a definite double standard about commenting on the appearance of men and women. Imagine telling a woman; I think you need your eyebrows shaped more. Even if she was your friend I don't think you'd do it.

Joel Kelly said...

Anon: I can't argue with that.

new_punishment said...

Considering the content of your blog was that it would be an on-going video blog, your appearance would be high on the list of conversation. There are entire industries related to personal grooming, branding, and personal shoppers/stylists. Even The Bare Naked Ladies used a stylist after their first video was just them in their "everyday clothes". They needed to portray a certain image. Remember - Image is everything! (if you believe what the media/society tells you)

Joel Kelly said...

Darrin: A decent point, for sure. Does the fact that I'm making video now, in a public forum, open me up to that sort of comment?

Anonymous said...

Video blogging is about engaging with readers in a different manner, being more open and delivering content in another form. I wouldn't say it's about soliciting comments about appearance or image.

I'm more interested Joel, in what you shot with. The sound quality was awesome!

Ryan Deschamps said...

I think the double standard thing is poppycock. The standard (as it should be) is how the individual feels about people making a comment about their appearance. Joel does not care that we think about his beard - many women (but not all I would add) would about aspect of their appearance.

There's no need to let pedantry stifle a perfectly friendly bit of blog-banter. The bottom line is that we treat individuals with respect, pay attention to their feelings and apologize if a transgression gets made.

Joel Kelly said...

Ryan: I think I agree.

Ryan Deschamps said...

Anonymous: Just curious - are you the sort of person that freaks out when the bank gives out $500 for landing on Free Parking in monopoly?

We know the rules, we just choose to apply them differently. We have appearances, and video blogs make those appearances more visible. It's natural for some to want to talk about appearances.

In fact, should we ever try to set boundaries for a conversation?

Dave said...

Having worked in TV for years, I was told by countless people that I couldn't do my hair a certain way, or grow facial hair, or bring my sideburns down to a certain level...wear a tie, don't wear jeans, blah blah blah! Frankly, I find the days of three piece suits, pocket kerchiefs and helmet hair to be annoying...when will TV consultants realize that in a down economy, having our news anchors dressing up like they're going to a formal dinner after work is a slap in the face to those of us who can't "afford" the same outfits?

And don't get me started on clothing allowances for anchors/reporters. That shipped has sailed in a lot of markets.

I say beard, no beard - who cares! Rock it how you want it. I didn't shave today. You gonna send me home? So long as I do my job better than the next guy, what does it matter how I look?

lovelyk said...

Personally, I'm sure everyone who watches a video blog is sitting there thinking things like.. "hrm I'd look twice if I saw this person walking down the street" or "Jeeze they look like shit today".

I don't think I'd ever base my comment on their blog on those points though. I don't see the point. If you're going for making your blog like real life then walking up to someone you know on the street and only commenting on their appearance is a little shallow. I myself would attempt some conversation past that point.

I liked the CONTENT of your video. I think it was interesting enough for some conversation past the thickness of your vacation beard.

As a side note, since your beard does seem to be super exciting for everyone, perhaps you should start one of those year with my beard pictorials. =P

Ryan Deschamps said...

To be honest, I think I focussed on the beard because the content of the video bored the hell out of me.

That's the cool thing - at least if you have a beard, people will still have something to talk about.

Joel Kelly said...

Dave: Great points!

Lovelyk: I guess that's really the big thing. Obviously it was something worth noting (why, I'm not certain), but that the conversation was *only* about that is the most interesting bit. I guess people know me too well :)

Anonymous said...

You didn't answer my question - people usually are interested in what you shot with and since your "friend", who knows no boundaries says your content was so boring I'll focus on that. What did you use?

Joel Kelly said...

Anon: Flip Mino HD.

Let's remember I agreed with the point that people only commented on it because they all know me really well. They knew I'd find it funny. I *think* that might be okay.

Frankly, you and Ryan are both being way too black & white. Sometimes it's okay to comment on someone's appearance, and sometimes it isn't. I *think* most people's comments were just fine. I certainly didn't mind.

Anthony said...

You said "your beard was more interesting than the content."

It will be fun to see the next Video Monday when the beard thing gets stale (or disappears) and you can't be self-depreciating with your blog anymore.

What will your content be about then?

I'm impressed that you continue to get a lot of comments on your blog.

You really give people something to talk about, whether it is by accident or not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, however brief. I love the flip and was wondering if the HD one was obviously any different. The thing I really enjoy about the flip is the sound quality.

As for your comment about my thinking being black and white - you obviously missed my point which is far from being either - so I'll move on.


Joel Kelly said...

Anthony: I can *always* be self-deprecating.

Joel Kelly said...

Anon: Sorry I missed your point.

I've used the regular flip and the HD and I'm *very* pleased with the HD's quality. Though its lens is very narrow.

Ryan Deschamps said...

The "boring" comment was intended as a joke... and I'll admit to being a little bit of a troll here. (Note that I did not comment on the blog at all - although I did say on Twitter that Joel looked like Kimbo Slice.)

I just find it funny how people think they can assume all kinds of things about people based on a few online comments.

Anonymous - comments about appearance are out yet comments about sound quality are in? I thought it was all about content?

Sionne Roberts said...

Am highly impressed with the level of reader engagement here, Joel...quite the ongoing Comments thread. Will have to check back in on your "beard blog" again to see if the trend continues, and also because reading that Kimbo Slice reference made me laugh out loud.

Joel Kelly said...

Sionne: Thanks :)