Meatballs and blogging: Sometimes it just doesn’t matter!

meatballs.jpgI’m not sure anyone but Bill Murray‘s mom would call it a classic, but the 1979 film, “Meatballs,” does offer one of the great cinematic mantras: It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!

Most things in life don’t matter — at least not in the long haul. Much of what we stress about is trivial. That includes this blog, which has caused me a fair amount of tension over its 105-post life.

No more. Thanks to the “Meatballs Mantra,” I’m turning over a new leaf.

No longer will I fish for links. It used to piss me off when a blogger would deny me a link I knew I’d earned. Pretty pathetic of me, huh? And it about drove me nuts when, two weeks ago (right after this post), 5 blogs mysteriously disconnected from this site.

Since the post was about the poor quality of online writing, I’m thinking that a handful of lousy writers just dumped me from their blogrolls. Pretty paranoid, huh? But you know what? It just doesn’t matter.

No longer will I sweat the rankings. Losing links to those 5 blogs has cost me 10,000 spots. Six months ago, hell, six weeks ago, this would’ve bothered me. But you know, Kent State doesn’t pay me for my Technorati rankings, and I doubt my readers care a lick. So it just doesn’t matter.

Blogs won’t get you a promotion, either. In academe, self-published work is treated like the plague. But I knew that coming in. In a few years, academe may catch up with the real world. But first we must demonstrate a blog’s value, influence and credibility. That’s the reasearch I’ll focus on in the next few years, but for now, it just doesn’t matter.

What does matter?

It’s my goal to become “one with the blog.” Sorry for getting all “Zen” on you, but I do have a mantra now, remember?

But to some degree, the blogging experience has changed me. Since I started writing here, I don’t take myself quite as seriously as I once did. Blogging has reawakened my sense of humor and sharpened my wit. I joke more with friends and colleagues now, and I show a bit more of what’s inside — for better or worse. Yeah, sometimes that ruffles a few feathers, but you know my feelings on that.

So I’m hoping this bit of navel contemplation today is Step One toward ending my obsession with blogging. Today, I embrace the Meatballs Mantra. From this point forward I focus only on the conversations.

The other stuff just doesn’t matter.

Post Script: My friend and career mentor, the late Jerry Brown, kept a plaque on his desk inscribed with the Meatballs Mantra. Jerry, wherever you are, thanks for helping us keep things in perspective. Your friendship mattered a great deal, and still does. Oh yeah, here’s the clip from “Meatballs.” A late update.


11 Responses to Meatballs and blogging: Sometimes it just doesn’t matter!

  1. Judy Gombita says:

    I’ve had this conversation with a few people of late. Kudos to you, for figuring out what really matters (and has the greatest impact, personally and professionally), relatively early in your bleer (i.e., blog career).

    But I must take issue with the fact that you’ve denied Meatballs its link to he Internet Movie Database, which clearly indicates its Canadian origins:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079540

    Obviously the film’s appeal and reach, messaging and longevity, has transcended borders. Very social media, that. And a good thing.

  2. Brian Wooley says:

    As long as you’re getting all Zen and quoting movies that feature Bill Murray, don’t forget this one (although it is a Chevy Chase line):

    “The Zen philosopher, Basho, once wrote: ‘A flute with no holes is not a flute… and a doughnut with no hole is a Danish.’ He was a funny guy.”

  3. Bill Sledzik says:

    More important, Judy, thanks for caring. When I called this post a bit of “navel contemplation,” I was only half joking. But it’s one of those things about blogs — if you think it you can publish it. And people can choose to ignore it if they’d like. No pressure.

    True story, though. I had the IMDB link in the post, then I found the YouTube clip and decided to go that route.

  4. Matt Smith says:

    Bill, in my young life, I’ve realized it’s about the people. To me, life would be great to have a million bucks, but what would I do with it? I couldn’t just spend it by myself. It’d be more fun to have people to spend it with.

    Moreover, I remember a line in “A Bronx Tale,” in which the main characters is chasing down a guy for $20. After the mob boss saw the kid running a guy down, he pulled the kid to the side and told him to stop chasing that guy. When the kid finally came to the mob boss’s side, he said: “Don’t worry about that guy, you just paid him $20 to get out of your life.” The same thoughts should be applied to those bloggers. It only took you 20 minutes to determine those guys weren’t worth your time!

    It’s funny how I get life-lessons from mobster flicks and The Sopranos. 🙂

  5. Judy Gombita says:

    Ironic that you called your blog ToughSledding, eh?

    Re: links/ranking. My observation has been that there is a relatively small circle of bloggers whom all link to one another. A lot of them go under the banner of “public relations” (many giving their blog a name that includes PR…or they build it into the tagline), yet the things they write about have virtually nothing to do with PR. At least not the kind of public relations I practise, day in and day out. As a result, I’ve stopped reading a ton of mish-mash blogs without a clear focus (re: content) and/or unsubstantiated expertise. (Oh the beauty of self publishing. Post that you are a subject expert and it will magically become so.)

    Instead I’m focusing on the blogs that really are about PR. Or about PR and education. Some of the better marketing blogs (especially the ones that know they are about marketing, instead of pretending to be about PR.) Or about lifelong education. Things that matter to me, in my work or personal life. The landscape is too busy/loud for me to fritter away time on posts that are irrelevant and/or banter that would be better served via a private exchange, rather than a public forum.

    For whatever it’s worth, your blog sledded through the big chop without a hitch.

    Cheers,
    Judy

  6. I like the mantra I’m going to apply it to other areas of my life. As for linking, it’s often a frustrating pursuit.

  7. Oh and thanks again for our link by the way😉 Notice we eagerly reciprocated right off the bat, hehe.

  8. […] that my campaign to access to the PRSA National Assembly transcripts has failed. File it under the “Meatballs Mantra.” It just doesn’t […]

  9. Bob Conrad says:

    “…the blogging experience has changed me. Since I started writing here, I don’t take myself quite as seriously as I once did. Blogging has reawakened my sense of humor and sharpened my wit. I joke more with friends and colleagues now, and I show a bit more of what’s inside — for better or worse. Yeah, sometimes that ruffles a few feathers, but you know my feelings on that.”

    I can’t agree with this statement enough. Good blogging, to me, is an ultimate embodiment of transparency, assuming we allow ourselves to expose true, virtual selves — warts and all.

  10. […] this blog, you’ll learn it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. I call it the “Meatballs Mantra,” and I reread it every time I start taking social media — or life — too […]

  11. Pat says:

    Not really related to the true subject here….but……I feel “Meatballs” is definitely a classic!! I watch it every year….in the spring. It is the best “camp” movie out there. Runners-up are “Poison Ivy” with Michael J Fox and “Little Darlings” with Tatum Oneal and Matt Dillon what’s her name.

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