The Authentic Voice:
Integrity is A-Lister’s Friend
When I opened the San Antonio Express News today, a column by Dave Beck caught my eye. It revealed that the online Merriam-Webster dictionary had announced its top 10 words looked up in 2005.
It turns out that the most looked-up word in 2005 was: Integrity.
This doesn’t surprise me. In a world filled with corporate scandals, mischievous journalists, slippery politicians and most recently, stories about “pay for play” in Iraq, people are longing for the things that integrity brings, or to quote Merriam-Webster:
1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2. an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY
This is also a signal to those of us who are searching for our “authentic voice” – the voice that communicates transparency and clarity of thought. In 2005, people were searching for what often seems elusive: honesty and incorruptibility.
I believe what has made a handful of A-list bloggers (top bloggers) so appealing to the public has been the integrity of the content. We have “trusted” them because they have proven, over time, to know what they are talking about and to shoot straight.
I predict in 2006 that many bloggers will commercialize and mainstream their sites. It is already happening as more that a dozen of the blogs I read now have ads. Steve Rubel of Micropersuation is one noteable site. He has a post here about his predictions about monetization in 2006.
It is more important that ever to remember that the authentic voice was the siren song that brought an audience looking for integrity and that the audience can become just as easily disillusioned if that voice is drowned out.
It is a slippery slope and the world watches while the blogosphere, like so many other industries before, navigate its heights.
While I believe that commercialization of blogs is inevitable, the seductive pull of money (not to mention power) carries with it a penchant for corruption, deception and the drowning of the authentic voice.
The other most looked-up words were: