In a recent comment from Michelle Heng Hock Mei and as a followup from the survey study she is carrying out on Corporate Blogging she has been wondering about a number of different questions she shared elsewhere and I thought I would just take a few extra minutes to try to answer all of her questions in order to help provide some more valuable input to the overall study. So I have gone ahead and grabbed her comments which I will be quoting in here and then adding my own input to try to answer her questions as better as I possibly can. And without any further delay here we go with the answers to her questions:
“Thanks for taking part in my survey. I’ve closed my survey and am collecting answers for the qualitative part of my study. Would appreciate it if you could answer these questions and if possible, provide links to entries in your blog for each answer.
1.Have you ever had to defend your opinions when others disagreed with what you said on your blog? Any cases when you ‘respectfully disagreed’ with another blogger? (Preferably work-related issues.)
It is funny that you mentioned this because in over two years that I have been weblogging both in my Intranet and Internet weblogs I don’t recall a single instance where I may have “respectfully disagreed” on a particular weblog post of mine. I think I may have been one of those lucky folks who have never been exposed to that particular scenario. In fact, I can recall most of the weblog comments as very fruitful conversations which in most cases have actually improved the quality from the initial weblog post, which is something that if anything I would always be very grateful for, since I strongly believe that that is what weblogging is all about: having conversations with people who pass by or read you on a regular basis on a specific set of topics always trying to provide new insights and new items to be learned and exchanged with one another.
As an additional piece of information, not long ago, I took one of those entertaining quizzes about what my weblog should be and this particular sentence was part of the end results of what my weblog should be: “You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.” And I can only say that would be spot on in my case, which would explain why so far I haven’t been confronted with the situation of “respectfully disagree” with someone.
“2.How has blogging helped you professionally? And do you learn any useful work-related lessons/
solutions from stories/anecdotes (i.e. through using the narrative-friendly aspect of blogs to share knowledge) as on the blogs of your colleagues’/other professionals’ outside your own company?”
Yes, it has helped me professionally a great deal ! Not only my Internet weblog but also my Intranet weblog, since both of them have provided me with a voice that I can make use to air out my thoughts, my opinions, my expertise, you name it with a whole bunch of folks that in most other cases I wouldn’t have had the chance to even establishing a connection. I think I have mentioned this already although not sure if it was here in my Internet weblog or my Intranet one, but the thing is that weblogging during the past two years has allowed me to get to know, and make new connections, than ever before since I started my career in the IT world. This is what weblogging will do to you. It will give you the opportunity to share your passion on whatever the topic with others who may be sharing that same passion, and learn from it. And this definitely has got a significant impact in the way I interact with my colleagues and also with the folks who read off my Internet weblog.
And regarding your second question about learning through weblogs, the answer would be on the affirmative again. Over those two years of weblogging I am finding out more and more that I am relying on weblogs quite extensively to improve my skills in particular subject matters in such a way that instead of following other more traditional methods of learning I go and actively seek different weblogs that deal with that particular topic and engage with them into different conversations as a learning process. Unfortunately, I am not sure I would be able to give lots of examples from my Internet weblog, but I do certainly have got plenty of them in my Intranet weblog that would prove that. If you would need further examples drop me an e-mail and will see if I can share some of that as well.
“3. Do you get good work-related advice from other professionals in your field/other bloggers? Anyone ever told you that they found useful work-related advice on your blog?”
Yes, and yes, to both questions ! And on a constant basis, too ! I have found out that over the last two years of my weblogging experience there have been hundreds of different instances, specially in my Intranet weblog, which has been running a lot longer than the Internet one, where I have been able to get lots of good advice from different people on the topics that would be of interest to me and at the same time it is rare the day that I do not get an e-mail or two from folks indicating how valuable my weblogs seem to be to them since they have been able to not only find lots of good information and conversations but also they have been able to reuse most of the stuff for their teams. The great thing about all this is that without having started the weblog I doubt I would have been able to have access to the same levels of expertise and also engage in whatever the types of conversations. Again, my Internet weblog may not have lots of very good examples on this but to give you a little bit of an idea here and here you have got a couple of instances where you can read some more on what I mean.
“3a) Your external blog has high visibility and good reputation to share thoughts on KM/KS. Could you tell me how it started and some examples of how others found it useful?”
Thanks for the kind comments in the first place, Michelle. I must say that it all started quite by chance. I have been running my Intranet weblog (I always wanted to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about) for over two years and about 8 months ago I decided to challenge myself and see if I would be able to maintain an Internet weblog with all the consequences, i.e. engaging further with the wider Blogosphere. So I decided to give it a try and I hosted for several months an Internet weblog over at Blogsome. My experience was so positive that I have decided to take things one step further and decided to create, maintain and host my own Internet weblog. And that is how elsua was born, till today. Lots of other people, see some of the above examples, have been finding it useful, I suppose, because of the fact that they all seem to come back day in day out and engaging in the conversations as they may see fit and although I do realise that may readership is not as numerous as with other more popular weblogs, the fact that I know I got a few folks reading and participating from the weblog is good enough to motivate me to continue further. In most cases because of the great conversations going on as well as the new connections that I get to make on a daily basis. Here is an example of what I am talking about as well.
“4.Which of the following do you use most often? How do they help (if at all) in finding information (just one e.g will do, tks!)
– Comment boxes
Well, I would think that the ones I use the most often would be RSS, Trackback and comment boxes in that particular order. RSS Newsfeeds have become an integral part of the information I get to read on a daily basis and I doubt I would be out there weblogging if it weren’t for RSS feeds. And the same probably would happen with Tracbkacks, since they would always allow you to get involved in conversations with other folks where you could share more information details on a specific topic. The examples I have mentioned above already would be good enough as a start, if you would want to read some more on what I am referring to.
“Any other blogging applications you use to manage content on your blog?”
Yes, indeed, there are ! So far my favourite ones are w.bloggar and Qumana. Although lately, I have been using as well Performancing for FireFox and Flock’s weblogging component and I have been very pleased with both experiences so to keep things out of a fixed routine I am currently making use of them all whenever I get to weblog in both of my weblogs. And that way at a later time I may be able to choose the one that would come the closest to suit my needs. So far quite happy with them all, but we shall see how that goes further.
“Hope you had a great X’mas!”
Yes, I am having a wonderful time and still having a few more days to go ! You, too, have a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year 2006, Michelle ! And thanks for putting together this study and for sharing it with us whenever it may be ready ! Good work !