The New Next: My Life As A Blog

My relationship with Naked Communications began as any typical 21st century love story does: through blogs. I met Ed Tam from the London office last December when he found my Web site through Russell Davies' blog and e-mailed me, impressed with my writing. I had been reading a lot about Naked at that point, and was very excited about my new friend. Ed and I talked about planning, bounced ideas off of each other, and chatted about our industry.

He also helped put me in contact with Paul Woolmington, with whom I started a wonderful dialogue. Over the past several months, I spoke to Paul about my dream of joining Naked someday.

In May of this year, I graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University Adcenter and made the trip to New York to meet with him and the team. In mid-August, I accepted a position with Naked. I couldn't be more excited about joining them, and about the fact that perhaps none of this would have happened had I not started a blog in the first place.

Sometimes people say they're impressed that I have a blog, and I don't really understand why. But that's probably because I've been documenting my life since I was 6 years old with journals, scraps, sketches, and photographs, so the act of blogging feels familiar to me. Such is the case with everyone I went to school with, because we grew up in a generation that feels ready to do something like this without a second thought. We already exist in a cut-and-paste culture, where we take snippets and spin them into something relevant to us and our peers. Blogging is the natural next step in sparking conversations.

Blogging adds an extra layer to our experiences by taking the privacy out of journaling. That may sound obvious, but now I write about things that I would love to discuss with people and not just ponder by myself. I want to meet people who share the passions that I blog about. I want to get ideas from them and pass those ideas on to others. Bloggers are helping build a rich community on the Web, and anybody can participate.

I am inspired by the blogs I read every day, whether they're focused on pop culture, food, fashion, art, or advertising. Maybe I think that someone, somewhere might be inspired by something I write as well. Maybe I just want to share the rush I feel every day while catching up on the world in front of my iBook.

The theme here is that it's really all about blogging's circular nature of inspiration. I'm always inspired to document something (I just wrote about bands positioning themselves as brands, for example), and with blogging, I meet other people who inspire me. Then I write about those things.

It's a rich cycle of energy that always keeps me passionate about what I do, and about life. It allows me to touch on any subject, no matter how taboo it might be, because blogging, which feels so close to journaling, is such an honest act. That honesty opens up possibilities of communicating with people I may never have met without a blog, giving me a rush at the thought that our communication may be changing something in the world.

Give me your thoughts. You can also find this article on my blog, There you can leave a comment (or three), and we can start a conversation.

Johanna Beyenbach is an associate strategist for Naked Communications. (,

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