Making Credibility

April 23, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I have a strong affinity toward people that make things. I've already said my piece on the subject, but I've struggled with one aspect of my position ever since that post. There are a good number of people I respect that don't make anything. I mean bloggers, writers, and commentators.1 My earlier comments marginalize the entire group. I have long thought that writing is not the same as building. Now I think perhaps it is.

Writers may not create their own CSS or JavaScript. Perhaps they don't produce videos or books. However, these people do create something valuable, if not measurable. Good writers slowly and methodically build credibility through their words.2 Through consistent and thoughtful writing they build trust and consideration from readers that only know the words and not the character behind the keyboard.

Writers have a more tenuous title of "Maker" than tinkerers do. Unlike someone that strings together code to perform some action, writers string together sentences to persuade and seduce. Functional code doesn't break all that easily unless the underlying fundamentals change. Existing credibility can be changed by a single poorly sourced article, omitted disclosure or link bait title. I can post a functional script and it will continue to deliver the same value even if I post a crumby script later.

In their own way, good writers work harder for their "Maker" status and work even harder to maintain it. Some spend their credibility like quarters at the Las Vegas airport, hoping for one last payout. If I were a writer3, I'd probably look at it like I was building something big and complex; like I was making something to last.

  1. I don't mean VC bloggers, although they don't really make anything either. 

  2. Well, not all of them. 

  3. For the record, I don't consider myself a writer. Writers are like pornography and I know one when I see one.