This question popped into my mind unexpectedly. Well, not entirely ... I was reading one of the responses to David Armano's decision to open his blog up to selected authors and realised that he had a really good point (Adam says):
I'm sorry. I really like your blog. I find its content useful and meaningful. But all this talk of opening up your 'personal brand' is making me reach for the bucket!
It is all well and good to open up your blog to others ... but where is the responsibility to your audience? Not only that, why is that each of the 600 blogs that trackback to Seth Godin articles (including mine) basically recycle the same view? Why do I quote Seth Godin? Why do you?
Of course, on one level there is the flow-through traffic. But one of the key reasons is that Seth is an opinion shaper. His insights are his own, they are forceful and they are well articulated. They also reinforce his own story and position.
It is great to have ideas and innovations ... but you do need a platform from which to speak. And while blogs allow us to do this on some level ... you need an audience first. Otherwise you are just blogging in the wilderness ... and brrrrr ... it can be cold out here sometimes!