The Andy Griffith Show: Lessons on Blogging

Ben Cook, whose site Blogging Experiment, is using different television shows to highlight some important lessons on blogging. So far he has posted lessons learned from shows such as:

The Simpsons
South Park
Prison Break
The Office
The Sopranos

If I’ve left any of them out, just let me know.

BarneyI’m going to reach way back and pull out some lessons on blogging from The Andy Griffith show. This show started in 1960 and featured the adventures of a sheriff in a small Southern town. People loved the show then and still do today because of its simple charm and family values. Here are a few lessons about blogging I can draw from the show:

Make Others Look Good
Barney Fife, Andy’s deputy, was always in trouble and bumbled more than one situation where a criminal was involved. Usually the criminal was able to escape under Barney’s watch, but was later caught by Andy. No matter the circumstance, Andy always allowed Barney to save face and made him look good in front of others.

The lesson we can learn is to always make other people look good whenever possible. If you spot a situation where another blogger has misspelled a word, or has otherwise screwed up, send them an email, don’t post a public comment. You don’t come across as cute or smart by pointing out that a blogger should have used a semi-colon instead of a comma, you just look like an lonely, obsessive compulsive English major.

FishingTake Some Time to Be With Family or Friends
Andy was always willing to take some time off and go fishing. Other times he would spend time with Opie and Aunt Bea on the porch after supper, just playing his guitar and having a talk. He was also willing to spend a little time playing bluegrass music with the Darlings.

I constantly tell myself that I don’t have to post every single day. The time off will do me good and help me clear my mind. Posting ideas will come better if your mind is clear and you’ve been able to live your life away from the laptop. Remember that life is meant to be lived. Life is the best thing to blog about anyway. Go live it.

Take Time to Answer Questions
Ernest T. BassAndy always had time to talk to someone. At times he was deluged with people demanding his time as a public official, but he always listened. His answers were usually well thought out, and rarely did he get angry or respond in a negative way. Andy DID get frustrated with characters such as Ernest T. Bass, but he always worked to find a solution to the problems that were presented to him.

If a commenter on your blog posts something negative or disagrees with your point of view, don’t respond in a negative way back to them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and a blog is available to post that opinion. Always answer respectfully and thank them for coming to your blog and posting a comment. The goal is to drive traffic, right? If the traffic is coming to your site, don’t try to drive them away by posting negative or smarty pants comments. Respectfully make your point and move on.

Participate in the Community
Many of the people in the show were involved in the community in some way. Andy Griffith ShowAndy served on the church’s finance committee, Helen taught Sunday School, Clara played the organ, Aunt Bea hosted the Lady’s Auxiliary, and Barney sang (or tried to sing) in the choir.

If there are blog carnivals or other opportunities for you to participate in the blogging community, do it! You’ll improve the exposure you and your blog have, plus you’ll help get yourself recognized as an expert in your category, not to mention you’ll help other bloggers and readers. A perfect example is participating in Ben’s Lessons on Blogging event. What television shows could YOU draw lessons from, hmmm? Just make sure you have a reputation for being helpful. You never know when you might need some help so pay it forward!

Trust But Verify
Strangers would occasionally show up in Mayberry with too-good-to-be-true propositions. Usually Andy saw through them but most of the towns people were enamored with ideas of quick fame and fortune. Usually, these strangers were con men, searching for more victims. Andy would verify what was going on by talking with sheriffs from other counties and would usually reach the proper conclusion.
When a stranger shows up in your email inbox and offers to help make your blog become the next John Chow, Steve Pavlina, or Darren Rowse, you better verify their intentions. Check references and ask a lot of questions. With the success of this media, there are scammers galore who would love to take your money. Beware!

The Andy Griffith show was a wonderful, family show that is still in syndication and still getting chuckles and grins. Its beauty was in its simplicity. We could easily take many of its lessons and apply them to blogging and to our lives. I think we would be better people and better bloggers because of it!
[tags]blog, blogging, life, Andy Griffith, lessons, television[/tags]

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