Using Glitter for Riffs - When you write a forum post, find 3-5 people to share it with

This is a great post from Tom Critchlow on he calls ‘Writing, Riffs and Relationships’.

Writing, Riffs & Relationships - Conversation is the unit of content


Writing on the internet is a superpower, but it can feel difficult - it can feel heavy. In this post I want to talk specifically about a format for writing that is deliberately designed to be easy to write, while being effective at creating connections (not pageviews).

And - specifically for anyone doing “content marketing” to drive sales - like indie consultants, business owners and founders - the riff is a great way to create connections and conversations around your work. In short it’s a tasteful and more fun way of doing outreach and sales.

Enter the riff.

The Anatomy of a Riff

Here are the basic ingredients for a riff:

  • An inquisitive title, something that is not “the ultimate guide” but more “some notes on…”
  • A few references - connecting the dots between some links, quotes from other sources
  • An anecdote from your own work that provides rich texture and context for what you do
  • Some open questions that invite people to
  • A deliberate small list of 3-5 people you can send the post to

Infact, I would say the ‘Glitter’ section here in The Village is like a Riff. An opportunity to write down and share some thoughts. It’s rough around the edges. It’s designed to encourage us to think and converse more, not to have a perfectly thought out idea.

Riffs, or Gleets (Glitter = Twitter, Gleets = Tweets :sweat_smile:) are huge learning opportunities too. We all have the opportunity to share and learn from one another and we can do it in a way that doesn’t have a lot of pressure.

And now I’m off to ponder how to get more people to Riff and shower The Village with Glitter.

And of course, to think of 2-5 people to DM this to to help it gain a bit more life.


Love it.

Riffs, musings, shower thoughts. The little quips that populate forum threads.

These are so much more digestible and approachable than towering skyscraper articles and 2k word essays.

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I like it. The concept of thinking of 3-5 people in mind to write to is great. It’s like you’re forming a temporary band to write a song with them with the other band members not yet knowing it.

Some of the best tunes in the world are built around a riff. A catchy riff might appear at certain points throughout a song – like during a chorus – or it appears throughout. The riff is what draws the listener in.

And for musicians creating something from nothing the riff is often the starting point for something special yet to happen. There are countless examples of someone just noodling around and then the rest of the band gets into it and it becomes a full-blown mega-song! :notes:

(Source: Beastie Boys Story (2020) Script)

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