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I’m Gonna Need A Hacksaw – 12 Things 24 Taught Me About Successful Blogging

Note from Josh: I was prepping Jack Bauer for his interview, but he said he hadn’t emotionally recovered from the season finale yet. He also asked me not to disclose his location. He’ll be appearing here in an interview next week, but in the meantime, please enjoy the following items that he helped me put together. The following post occurs at whatever pace you read at.

The show 24 ended recently. I watched every season. The show, and Jack Bauer, taught me a lot about how to survive in the sinister world of blogging. Heed its lessons well and you may too make it out alive.

1. Just do something, quit wringing your hands

You can always expect to be bailed out at the last second, even when it seems like all hope is lost. Just sit down and start typing something. Better to take  action then spend life regretting inaction. Or getting stabbed in the eye.

2. EMPs are hell on WordPress

If someone uses an electromagnetic pulse device in your vicinity, not only will it throttle all of your surveillance equipment, but you’ll certainly be unable to publish your next blog post about how underrated the convenience store hot dog is.

3. You can’t make everyone talk

Try, try, and try again…sometimes there just aren’t going to be any comments. Begging someone for information or to join your book club is beneath you, but outright coercion via the Internet is a tough gig.

4. Keep an eye on the assistants and analysts

A lot of fancy upper-tier bloggers talk about their virtual assistants and helpers in India. If 24 taught me anything, it’s that your lackeys and analysts are always the ones who will garrote you and stuff your body in a ventilation shaft. That’s why I went rogue. I work best alone. I work poorly while garroted and dead.

5. It’s best not to have a boss

Eventually, you’ll have to go against their orders and take them hostage. Or worse, a well-spoken British baddie might demand that you execute your boss in a depressing shipping yard. Again, best to go it alone.

6. Don’t kiss anyone or they’ll die at the hands of assassins

Once you get traffic, you’ll have fans. Some of those fans might want to kiss you. Resist them for their own sakes.

7. Avoid time traps

You have a posting schedule to keep and bad men to foil.  Getting menaced by cougars in the woods will truly screw up your productivity. Avoid unnecessary distractions, like mountain lion snares and Bejeweled 2.

8. Don’t let anyone implant a chip in your arm as part of a link exchange

Wake up. Sooner or later someone will surely chop that arm off and then you’ll be typing with your face while holding a crayon in your mouth.

9. Keep your family separate from your work

I have two cousins who were once unable to work at the same Things Remembered engraving kiosk in a shopping mall. And yet, the people involved in protecting the country from terrorists on 24 were all either related, sleeping together, married, or otherwise fraught with personal entanglements.

In other words, don’t let family members read your blog. Mark them as spam and ban them, for their own good.

10. First impressions matter

Whether the season that followed each season premier was great or just sucked, I thought the premier episodes were always fantastic. The lesson? As long as the first paragraph of a blog post is good enough, you’ve got a good chance at people sticking around for the next few months.

11. The more attractive you are, the more tank-tops you’ll be forced to wear

It’s easy to avoid being good-looking online. Stay anonymous behind your screen and your passing will be less wrenching and exploitable, particularly if tank-tops are not your style.

12. Use your drones

Who knew that retasking satellites could be so easy? They can spy on anyone at a moment’s notice. This is how I use Facebook and Twitter–to keep tabs on anyone who is about to betray me.

13. Go further than the next blogger

If they’re responding to comments, you send emails. If they write 10 posts a week, you write 10 posts an hour. If they schedule posts days in advance, you write in real time at typing speed. And if they say something bad about you online, you hire mercenaries to teach them a lesson. Word will get around.

Josh

Jack Bauer says “YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME! Please Subscribe To The RSS feed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Diggy June 3, 2010, 1:47 am

    Bwahahahahahaha!

    this cracked me up:
    “In other words, don’t let family members read your blog. Mark them as spam and ban them, for their own good.”

    I love 24, haven’t seen the finale yet so going to go out and get it this weekend!

    Cheers:)
    Diggy

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:53 am

      Let me know what you think of it. I thought it went out with a great ending.

  • Eduard @ People Skills Decoded June 3, 2010, 3:10 am

    Hey Josh,

    This article makes me wanna see 24. The lessons are smart so i imagine that the TV series are the same.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:53 am

      Eduard, you might find it very different to watch it. Let me know if you still agree once you’re a few hours in!

  • Amy Harrison June 3, 2010, 3:50 am

    One more thing – never ever ask a question just once.

    The first time it is a harmless calm question. People will ignore this one, that is when you have to repeat it, preferrably screaming at them.

    Why haven’t you subscribed to the WSL newsletter…?

    I uh…

    WHY HAVEN’T YOU SUBSCRIBED TO THE WSL NEWSLETTER!!!???

    A gut punch at this point is optional. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:54 am

      Perfect. And it should be followed up with, “You’ve read my file. You know what I’m capable of.”

  • Farnoosh June 3, 2010, 5:38 am

    BBBB-rilliant!!! I used to watch 24 all the time and then I didn’t this last season. I love the analogy – I think I had watched enough for this to really, really sink in. Thank you so much for the best blogging lessons analogy I have read.

  • Todd June 3, 2010, 6:30 am

    Josh, this is sage advice, to be sure.

    “7. Avoid time traps – You have a posting schedule to keep and bad men to foil. Getting menaced by cougars in the woods will truly screw up your productivity. Avoid unnecessary distractions, like mountain lion snares and Bejeweled 2.”

    “Step away from the Xbox”. This is my mantra at home.

  • Srinivas Rao June 3, 2010, 7:58 am

    Josh,

    I love this post, one of personal favs of everything you’ve written. I’m a huge 24 Fan and even wrote a post called the Jack Bauer Guide to getting Shi#$ Done. I think his relentless pursuit of his end goal and utter disregard for authority are some of his greatest strengths. Good to see I’m not the only one who can see personal development lessons in somebody as insane as Jack Bauer

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:54 am

      Thanks Rao-Master. There are at least two of us.

  • Justin Matthews June 3, 2010, 8:34 am

    EVERYBODY DOWN!!!! Brilliant post Josh, Way to distill everything that made 24 great. I keep seeing these actors from 24 all over the place and every time I do I think, “Jack Bauer killed him” Especially that snake Chappelle. he deserved it and he does on his new show.

    You did forget one lesson: Dont let ANYTHING, not even death, the constitution, or the President, stop you from acheiving your goals.
    -Justin

  • Great post Josh,

    I will immediately remove my EMP machine away from my blog. I also just washed a fresh set of tank tops, ready for action.

    On a serious note, I really like number 13. You have to go further than the crowd. You don’t have to work harder necessarily, but you need to make sure that you are working with your own voice or else you will just get lost in the pile of same-ness.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:55 am

      And that pile is getting bigger every second.

  • Mac Wrigley June 3, 2010, 10:45 am

    Huge fan of 24 and couldn’t agree more! Love this post!

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:52 am

      Mac, I knew you’d like it, since we both know 24 was loosely based on your exploits in Boise.

  • Picsiechick June 3, 2010, 11:51 am

    I feel ripped off. You didn’t even mention a hacksaw once.

    That bonus number 12 almost makes up for it, but…..

    • Josh Hanagarne June 3, 2010, 11:52 am

      I knew someone would mention it for me. Settle down, you.

      • Picsiechick June 3, 2010, 11:58 am

        But seriously, my typo error and grumbling aside….

        Another great post to live by! I promise to not try to kiss you. For my own good, of course.

        Hugs and butterflies,
        ~T~

  • Giulietta June 3, 2010, 4:02 pm

    Hi Josh,

    Fab list! Think I like #3 the most. We all want to get comments because it’s another opportunity to connect with people and help. Sometimes I get a ton, sometimes just a few. I try to leave at least 2 or 3 a day, if only to make someone else’s comment day.

    Much thx, Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel

  • Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave June 3, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Love it–and here I was worried about what Jack would do with too much time on his hands. Jack Bauer/life coach, hmmm…

  • Daisy June 5, 2010, 7:20 pm

    Great advice! I don’t watch 24 (true confession), but this is hilarious.

  • Deidre @ TransFormX January 20, 2011, 8:56 pm

    What a great post 🙂
    I watched 24 some of the seasons and not others. Yet, when I realized last year was going to be the final season, I knew I would miss Jack.

    Wonderful way to meld the show and blogging worlds together…I’m still cracking up!