Yesterday, in my post how to be an artist, I talked about being a “scenius” rather than a genius. “Scenius is a term invented by an English musician, record producer, and visual artist Brian Eno. Another word for “scenius” is “communal genius.” The word conveys the extreme creativity that a group, place or “scene” can occasionally generate. His actual definition is:
Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.Brian Eno
Individuals immersed in a productive “scenius” blossom and produce their best work. When buoyed by scenius, you act like a genius. Your like-minded peers and the entire environment inspire you.
Today I am going to introduce to you such a “scenius,” a group started by an ordinary man, on a single idea, working part-time which now has become a community of thousands even when the term “scenius” was not even invented.
His two main blogs Digital Photography School, which features photography tips, and ProBlogger, which features tips on blogging, get around 85,000–100,000 page views a day and over $20,000 in total ad revenue a month. Rowse was named in the Forbes Web Celebrity List in 2007.
In 2008, Rowse co-authored the book ‘ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income’ (Wiley) and founded TwiTip—a blog dedicated to Twitter tips. Rowse is co-founder of the Third Tribe and founder of the Problogger Paid community.
In May 2009, ProBlogger was listed as number two on Technorati‘s most favorite blogs and number 40 on the most linked blog.Wikipedia
Why is Darren Rowse so important?
Because he saw a need in the early days of blogging and tried to fill it with a simple blog. A blog on how to blog. His story is remarkable. He writes:
“Back in November of 2002 when I first hit ‘publish’ on my original (and short lived) Blogspot Blog I did so believing that this ‘blogging thing’, which I’d only just heard of, would be a bit of fun. I started for a number of reasons but in short it was curiosity and the hope of a new hobby and perhaps some new connections that drew me to it. At the time I was working three jobs.Darren in Problogger
Blogging for a long time was a hobby for Darren and a way to connect with others. His blog was quite popular in his church circles at that time but hosting and ISP costs were starting to escalate. He needed to make money from his blog.
After about a year of blogging, he accidentally started Digital Photography Blog and discovered AdSense and the Amazon Affiliate program. He quickly realized that his hopes to pay for his ISP and hosting costs and perhaps a professionally designed blog can come true. This was not because he had put AdSense on any blog but because by then he had several thousand readers per day.
Blogging was still a hobby for Darren but he has started spending two days on it. It was, in fact, more than two days because he worked late every night to keep things moving. He started doing more than one post per day for his Digital Photography Blog. His work paid off because in May 2004 his earnings hit $32 per day and by the end of June 2004 he’d broken $1000 in a month for the first time and was bringing in $48 per day. He is now making seven-figure income from his blogs, networks, and courses.
It is important to know at this time Darren was not working as a genius, he was a “scenius.” He knew nothing about digital photography or blogging. He was learning and teaching at the same time. He happened to be at a “scene” where both digital photography and blogging were new, Darren hooked in with the early learners and shared what he learned with his readers. That created a community. A “scenius.”
He was a node in a network where he was relaying while contributing at the same time. His readers were nodes too, relaying and contributing at the same time.
Austin Kleon puts it in very simple terms: Genius is an egosystem, scenius is an ecosystem.
That is the message I want to give with this post. Not everybody can be a genius but everyone can be a “scenius.”
I took Darren’s 31 Days to a Better Blog course when I first started blogging August and became a part of his “scenius.” There are other “scenius” I am part of from where I learn and contribute.
Are you a part of a “scenius”? Tell me about it.