Monday, December 10, 2007

Scaring People Away From Blogging

Note Taking at Boston Media Makers

Penelope Trunk wrote about Blogging and Twitter in the Boston Globe this weekend, but got it all wrong, Social networking tools give introverts opportunities to connect, lift careers.

First she defines rules for blogging. The problem is that there are no rules. Trunk writes:
Blogs: A blog is like a home page you update three or four times a week. Or more. It is a list of the ideas you're thinking about. Some of the best blogs are like op-ed pages where you are the only writer. What blogs are not is quirky outlets for desperate and lonely teens. Blogging takes a big time commitment because organizing one's thoughts into cogent ideas, multiple times a week, takes a lot of time.

So most of the bloggers are doing it for their career, and blogging requires so much industry knowledge that most bloggers are midcareer. These are great people to network with because they can help you get what you want from your career.

And they're easy to network with because all you have to do is read their most recent ideas, and type out a comment about one of them. After a few comments, you will forge a connection with the blogger.
Everything that I've highlighted above is wrong.

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

Blog Whenever You Want To
The beauty of blogging is that you are not required to update three or four times a week. You can update your blog whenever you want. My mom updates once a week.

Blogs are Quirky
Even if you are talking about blogging in business, you can be quirky on a blog. Blogs are "quirky outlets for desperate and lonely teens." Blogs can also be quirky outlets for business people.

Blogging Doesn't Have to Take a Lot Of Time
Instead of writing up a long article on your blog, you can use your blog as a link blog. Link to other blog posts that you enjoy and become a source of good information, or be a source of bad information.

Next up I need to address some problems with Penelope's description of Twitter:
Twitter: Twitter is like instant messenger, only you never shut up. You can tell people what you're doing all day long. Small tidbits of your life condensed into even smaller sentences about where you are or what you're doing.

One of the hardest parts of building a network is the upkeep. Letting people know what you are doing so that they continue to feel connected with you even though you are not hanging out at bars together on the weekend

The other nice thing about Twitter is that it is largely output. You don't have to listen. When introverts are overwhelmed, they shut down. Twitter makes it easy by not requiring a lot of listening - only reporting.
Please Shut Up
Actually, as with blogging, you do not have to be a frequent twitterer and never shut up. Some people do use twitter this way, but others might post infrequently. Again, there are no rules. There come to be generally accepted practices by users of twitter, but never shutting up is not something that makes me want to follow someone on twitter. In fact, it makes me stop following them.

Twitter Is a Conversation
Twitter is not largely output. If it was, it would be a failure. Twitter is actually largely input. Most people spend a much larger percentage of their time reading what their friends are doing rather than posting what they are doing.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Wow. Penelope really missed the boat on this one. Your quotes from her story make me think she spent an hour or two looking a blogs and twitter. I wonder if she even interviewed any bloggers.

    John Leeke