Sunday, April 15, 2007

The basics about Blogging (Roy's seminar)

I was the team leader for the seminar by Roy Blumenthal on Blogging. Here are my notes and summary of the session.

Roy started off by saying that you needto stick to a discipline to keep your blog going. He suggested that we all agree to blog at least three times a week. Lesley felt one could even blog everyday. But the main thing is to be consistent and not disappoint your reader. We should seek consistency but not necessarily perfection.

Roy also mentioned that it is not really the content that counts but that we be successful. I am not quite sure what he meant by this. After all, WHAT I put on my blog matters! So please come forward with any explanations.

A blog is an online diary but it is pointed. I think this means that the blog has to be concise. Avoid rambling on.

A blog is a marketing tool. This does not need much explanation. For our World of Work program, we want to use the blog to communicate with potential employers.

The blog reflects a sharing ethos. You share your thoughts and experiences with others. You offer them something from you and you can also expect somehting in return. You want to share generosity and personal growth with others.

In your blog, you can reveal your ideologies and passions. "You need your blog to be you", Roy said. Your blog is then your personal stamp of identity. Don't try to hide yourself but use the blog to express yourself. People want to know about you and with your blog, you can reveal who you are and how you think.

The blog is then about you as a person. Do not confuse 'person' with 'persona'. Try to post matters that truly show who you are rather than pretending to be someone you are not.

Your blog also shows how you grow over time. Instead of deleting blogs, leave them there so people can see how you have developed. Remember, Dan Sonnenberg from Matrix Consulting mentioned that he does not look for people who know it all but who can learn.

Your blog is like a shark: it has to move to remain alive. So you need to post regularly but you also need to post interesting and meaningful things on your blog. So content does matter?!

Try to make regular updates on your blog. Make sure your blog has personality. The more it says about you, the more interesting it is. You also want to have a focus on your blog. Maybe you can show how you work on your blog towards a specific aim; how it evolves, how it takes shape.

Let me end with a personal observation. While I can understand that the blog has to be you, that is, you want to be authentic and truthful, there are always issues that will be left out. I mean, I write here to a global audience, to every Dick, Tom and Harry in the universe, I even use it to market myself. So there are limitations to what I put on my blog. In this sense, you get a glimpse of 'my truth', but probably not the 'whole truth'.


Celeste said...

Hi Thomas

I completely understand what you are saying about the extent of information you give on your blog. But believe me, once you're into it you get more comfortable. I made a conscience decision to focus on my working experiences on my blog. The reason: I am still contemplating creating a different blog where some of my own personal life experiences will come through.

Maybe that is something you can decide to do? Just a suggestion...use it, don't use it :)

Keep on blogging!



Roy Blumenthal said...

Yo Thomas...

Shotto on the summary. Good stuff.

My comment about content not being important is really in conjunction with my idea that HOW you say things is much more important than WHAT you say.

Think back to my comments about blogging your breakfast. This MIGHT be a terrible piece of CONTENT, but it COULD be some kind of artwork, utilising CONTEXT.

When Celeste was blogging her work experience, she was revealing to her employer (and the world) HOW she works. The CONTENT of her blog was not important in the least. The FACT that she was blogging, that she was sharing, that she was revealing growth, that she was helping other people to grow... THESE were the important things.

And you can achieve these important things by blogging about your breakfast.

Does this help?

Blue skies

PS: I recommend that you change your blog settings to allow anonymous comments. Currently, it's set to the default, which only allows logged in blogger members to comment. This locks out almost ALL people who might want to comment.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hello Thomas, I find your insights most interesting and quite straight-to-the-point. I completetly agree with your assessment of Andrew Hofmeyr. I liked Dan Sonnenberg as well, he projected a sort of European savoir-faire and forthrightness. Your observation about not giving the 'complete truth' on one's blog is something I can relate to. As Celeste says, perhaps a more personal blog is needed so that this one is specifically for more 'serious' matters.