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Sunday, 22 April 2007

What the Ancient Egyptians Taught me about Blogging

Blogging down the ages


You may think there can be no way in the afterlife that there is a link between one of the oldest civilisations on earth and one of the most modern pastimes, but you would be wrong. The Ancient Egyptians blogged in Stone.

Mans desire to communicate and make a statement to the world is as old as when we evolved from homo-erectus. Bloggers, much like Pharaohs want to leave a Legacy. To do this their blog or 'Stella' must be eye catching. The Pharaohs did this by having no ads and focused on quality content. They gave the populous what they wanted and needed, which was a belief system (a mental routine). As an added bonus the Pharaoh would become deified in the process (linked with the god, AmunRe) and gain a form of immortality.

Cartouche's, (see image below/left, are the engraved pharaohs name encircled in a loop) I like to think of as the hyperlinks of the ancient world. King lists were engraved on walls of temples and much like the Technorati Favourites Train which had a viral effect. There are now 100s of copies of them recorded by numerous past civilisations not to mention the 1000s of modern copies. They wanted to be remembered and those that had their names engraved deep enough, backed up with quality content succeeded. When a new dynasty came along they would (try to) destroy the records of the past one, re-branding it by rubbing away the past cartouches and writing their own one over them. Over time the names were engraved deeper and deeper to make it harder to write over. The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you can re-brand yourself whenever you like!

Bloggers know that controversy can be a path to traffic and a reputation. Akhenaten, the heretic king is a perfect example of this. In the New Kingdom (1567-1085BC) he set up is very own city (using Wordpress ;) at El Amarna and made everyone worship the sun disk, which was known as 'the Aten', hence his name, Akhenaten. If he hadn't done this, he would have been 'just another pharaoh' and I probably wouldn't have even studied him. In being controversial, he set him self apart from the competition and even changed the nature of art itself. Blogging is an art and top bloggers have the power to change it.

There were competitions between different cult centres, e.g. the cult of Osiris at Abydos and that of Amun at Thebes. This caused the peoples 'mental routine/belief system' to change and the pharaohs (who are the bloggers in this analogy) had to account for that.

If my archaeology classes have taught me anything, it is that certain rules apply to everything. They key points here are:

1. Have a mental routine, but it needs to be adaptable so it can change when the need arrives.
2. Engrave your writing deeply by writing strong unique content.
3. Be eye catching and not plastered with tacky banner ads (as well as other ads).
4. Use the power of viral marketing, it’s for the greater good, of the clever minority....
5. If you don't like your blog, re-brand it! This may happen very soon with this site...
6. Be controversial, but not to often. Note that Akhenaten’s new city and religion were destroyed after his death and El Amarna has never been re-discovered!

7 comments:

Johnny Cash said...

Very interesting post. It seems like you are planning to make major change to your blog.

Kumiko said...

Wow! A real departure from your usual stuff - and I like it! I found this post through Technorati's WTF...I hope it's a big success for you!

Kumiko

Mike Perry said...

Great post. The Ancient Egyptians can teach us a lot if we bother to listen. Those pyramids aren't just stone blocks ...
Mike.

matt608 said...

Hi Johnny, yeah I have big plans!

Thanks Kumiko, I'm glad you like it, I could make a lot of posts to do with archaeology and blogging... but I don't know that theres that much demmand for it!

matt608 said...

Thanks Mike, I am fascinated by them, your right the Pyraminds have a lot more to them than meets the eye!

Dee said...

That was an interesting post, if your writing is this good you shouldn't worry cause I'm sure you'll make it! Best of luck :)

matt608 said...

Thanks for the kind words dee, they are much appreciated :)