E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

“Just What Is a Weblog Anyway?” by Luis Suarez

I am now back from vacation and, as you may have guessed, it was wonderful! I had a fantastic time enjoying some lovely weather, good food, good friends and plenty of good old fun. And today first day back at work. Ouch ! That hurt ! Well, not really. I am just back at work and already got tons of stuff to catch up with ! It looks like things have been busy all over the place. As you may have guessed, I am actually doing some serious catchup with everything else while I have been away, because, for the first time in a while, I have been able to stay away in disconnect mode and enjoy some more of real life. Goodness ! Totally worth it !

Life won again on that ever lasting battle between work and life balance. Alas, the catchup is taking priority at the moment. So back to getting into the swing of things: talking to colleagues, e-mails, RSS feeds, newsgroups and a long etc. etc. of other activities that just keep popping up from all over the place. Yes, the usual thing. I am sure you know all about it, too. However, this time around I got lots of exciting stuff to weblog about as well ! So you would have to bear with me for a couple of days before I am in full force once again.

And in order to get things going, and I know that this is probably going to make this weblog post a bit longer than I expected, so bear with me just some more, I wanted to share with you a recent article I got published on the IBM‘s Intranet around the subject of Weblogging. Indeed, just before going on vacation a colleague of mine, Wanda Richards, asked me if I could write an article around the subject of Weblogs; what they are; why they are worth while from an enterprise adoption perspective; what some of their main capabilities are; why it would be worth while having perhaps both an internal and external weblog; in short, my very own experience as a weblogger for the last three years that I have been weblogging away.

And this is just what you are about to read further on from here onwards. I know that most of you out there do not have access to that article behind the firewall so I am going to reproduce it over here in its entirety so that you get to read some more further about what weblogging has meant to me and why I will keep going at it for as long as I am able to. So here it goes. Hope you enjoy it just as much as I did writing it:

"Some time ago Wanda Richards asked me to write up an article about something that I have been so passionate about for so long that I just couldn’t ignore the invitation: weblogs or, in short, blogs. I am sure that by now, one way or another, you have all been exposed to the world of weblogs, also known as Blogosphere, whether we talk internally or externally. So I am going to skip that.

However, what I am certainly going to do is just relate in this article:

* some of the advantages of having a blog
* why you would want to start your own.

At the same time I hope to be able to show as well some of the main reasons as to why I have decided to keep several weblogs, one internal and two external, throughout the years.

Most people think that blogs are that new Internet phenomenon where you get to find out all about some frustrated people who are lazing about the whole day long in their pyjamas doing nothing else than whining and complaining about why the world has turned upside down against them. While I am not going to deny the fact that out of over 55 million blogs there may be some of them out there which would follow those patterns very close, it is also a well known fact that blogs are a whole lot more than that.

Blogs are all about sharing your passion with others, about diving into the conversations and showing everyone what’s in your mind at any given point in time. Blogs are also all about being committed, involved, out in the open and naked, always with a growing urge to share your subject matter expertise with others.

They are incredibly powerful sources for people to share their tacit knowledge (their know how) and collaborate in a new medium where everyone is at the same level. That is, the same conversation.

Bloggers get to write about their passion for whatever the topic, whether it is work, personal or life related, and the audience gets to enjoy as well some of that same passion. Yes, over time, blogs become addictive and contagious because, amongst many other things, they allow you to be yourself.

If there is anything key to any blog, and perhaps one the biggest advantages of maintaining one, is the fact that through a blog you allow your audience to build up further on your mutual trust levels. Yes, that is right.

Blogging is a very powerful medium for boosting your trust with others and that is because in a blog you actually get to share your passion on a particular topic, or set of topics, and that way you allow people to get to know much more about you than with whatever other collaborative tool.

People will come back to your blog over and over again because you are opening yourself, and your expertise, to them.

And this is where the whole thing about the social software mentality kicks in. Blogs are all about sharing information and knowledge, socially, with others.

Finally, if there would be another characteristic quite emblematic about blogs I would say that it is probably Thought Leadership and Innovation.

* Thought leadership from the perspective where through your blog you position yourself in the field you are passionate about by sharing your thoughts and ideas about it in a space where you allow others to participate further from that knowledge sharing.

You lead the way with your blog, and they would follow you. And the other way around, too! You lead the way to then find out that your audience is the one leading you! That is what blogs could do to you.
* And innovation from the perspective that having a blog gives you the opportunity to engage in new conversations that you wouldn’t have had a chance to establish ever before.

Sharing your thoughts with a worldwide audience with a single click of a button, with no other intermediaries, where you are in control of what you would want to share and engaging further with your audience, collaborating in whatever the topic, is probably innovation at its best. Yes, indeed, that is what social software tools like blogs would do to you, too.

So, coming to the end of this article, I guess you would all be anxious to give blogging a try. Let me tell you how worth it would be.

I would dare say, and this is coming along to you from my own experience in blogging, that if you allow yourself to start a blog, and maintain it on a regular basis, it would change not only your professional career for the better, but it would also impact your own personal life in a way that you would never ever have anticipated before.

And as an example, check out the following weblog post I shared where through my blog I got to have one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had in a recent trip to the US, where amongst other things, I got to meet up with one of the Knowledge Management fathers who has been a KM leader all along throughout the years and that without my blog I would have never been able to meet up.

So, what do you think? Can it get better than that? I doubt it. Start your blog today and do not leave it for tomorrow! It would be too late."

Thus, there you have it. My very own take on what weblogging is all about and why you should consider it from the perspective of adopting social software within the enterprise to help you collaborate and share your knowledge with others in perhaps much more effective and efficient ways than ever before. At least, worth a try.  And, yes, I know this is a bit of a long weblog post today, but I think it was worth while sharing it over here as well as I do get a few questions every now and then from people who read elsua.net who want to know some more about where I am coming from and why I started weblogging about three years ago. So this particular weblog post and that article should help provide a bit more background around those questions and their answers. Off now to do some more on that serious catchup with things. Back later …

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