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Show Arena = Social Media

February 3, 2010

Mickey and I at a CJHA show in Freehold, NJ.

I’m learning about the principles for a successful blog. These principles are reflected in the show arena as measurements of success.

For the purpose of this post, “judge” refers to both the blog reader and show evaluator.

The first impression…

When competing in a crowded show arena or for readership on the blogger-dense internet, first impressions count the most.  “In the ribbon” equestrians are first to enter the ring, secure their space, and create the picture.  If the horse is positioned in the herd or has an unkempt appearance, the judge will immediately lose interest.  Successful bloggers lead with strong headlines, blunt points-of-view, and a visual;  this is how bloggers gain and keep the judge’s attention.  The judge must be able to identify what is in it for them from the start.

A perfect ten..

The structure of both the horse and the blog is what matters when attracting the judge.  In the show ring, proper equitation and strong fluid gates are what accounts for a well structured appearence.  If the rider’s balance is off or the horse’s head is out of carriage, the judge will not award points to the duo.  When blogging structure is attractive to the judge, it keeps the eye flowing through the content.  By using sub-headlines and bullets, the judge’s eye can skim through the post.  Short paragraphs encourage the judge to read on.

Practice makes perfect…

Both the rider and the blogger will appear inept to the judge if their presentation is not fine-tuned.  For the rider this means ample preparation prior to the show day; the equestrian will train daily and seek outside advisement through lessons.  For the blogger this means writing daily and commissioning an editor.

The loss of control…

Key to both the rider and blogger is identifying where the control is.  Experienced riders know you can’t force the animal; a tight hold of the horse’s mouth will cause a battle of strength that the 700+ pound horse will always win.  The rider can, however,  use  his or her body (leg, seat, balance, and position) to ask the horse to perform.  The judge can identify a horse that is being forced rather than asked by the rider’s hand positioning and the horse’s shifting head carriage.   When blogging, judges should be open to feedback- negative or positive; this is what makes the conversation.  Bloggers can find control by posting a comment policy and responding to comments.  Judges will identify if a blogger is trying to control feedback by having to register and having comments approved.

Can you think of any other show ring principles that can be applied as blogging techniques?


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