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

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Making Business Sense of Social Media and Social Networking – Is Blogging Dead?

Gran Canaria - Valsequillo in Winter TimeScott Monty has got a rather interesting and very insightful blog post where he comes to ponder how every year there are a bunch of people out there, coming from different places, who keep questioning whether blogging is dead or whether we are enjoying the last few days of that phenomenon that got started over 14 years ago. His article surely is a must-read, not only because it covers a good number of the entries which have been trying to kill blogging from as early as 2007, but also because of his conclusion, which is one of my favourites as well for a good number of subjects nowadays: it depends. Is blogging dead for you folks as well? Have you moved all of your conversations to social networking sites? When was the last time you created a blog post? Well, since it depends I will let you know what I think … No! Blogging is not dead! It wasn’t in 2007 and it won’t be in 2011, nor in 2015! At least, for yours truly. I still see lots of value on corporate blogging, whether internal or external, and I am happy to see I am not the only one either. Blogging is here to stay, whether some people like it or not. Get used to it. Move on…

And that’s a good thing! Where else would you be sharing lengthier ideas or thoughts that have been crossing your mind and that you would want to revisit again at some point in time? Where else are you going to host your own hard worked and earned content, ready to be shared across openly? What’s your own domain? How are you going to build a sustainable, stronger over time, endurable, reliable and effective personal brand? How are you going to keep up with your living, organic CV? Where else are you going to go when sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. etc. disappear into thin air? Because, you know, they eventually will disappear. How are you going to keep up with your informal learning activities, as well as that powerful Personal Knowledge Management tool you have built up, with lots of hard work and energy, over the course of the years? Where else are you going to host conversations of stuff that matters to you and your community where you would want to own it and facilitate it with your various social networks? Of course, in your personal business / corporate blog! Where else? Just think about it. Where else could you possibly go trying to answer all of those questions?

Yes, blogging still has got a place within today’s social networking tools landscape. Back in the day, May 2005, Hugh MacLeod put together a blog post under the suggestive heading of “the porous membrane: why corporate blogging works“; six years later, it’s still just as accurate as it was back then! If not more! Go and have a read of his explanation of why corporate blogging still has got a place today, in 2011. It will be worth your time, if you haven’t read it in the past. And if you have, go and read it, too! It will be a good refresher for those seasoned bloggers as well and a good reminder of why it’s worth while keeping up with your blogging activities.

Now, if you would need some research that you are on the right track with your blogging activities and you would want to convince others that they should still perhaps pay attention to blogs and get theirs going, you may want to have a look into a recent article I bumped into over at Forbes Blogs by Susan Adams under the title “Personal Blogging at Work Increases Productivity“, where she writes a beautiful blog entry where she quotes some recent research done by an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Anindya Ghose, and two colleagues from Carnegie Mellon, Param Vir Singh and Yan Huang, who claims that corporate blogging can certainly help increase knowledge workers’ productivity, specially, if it is facilitated to boost the generation of social capital to instigate the creation of trust, bonding and the building of stronger personal business relationships. Something that most of us, folks who have been blogging for a while already, would probably be capable of confirming in a split second, if you ask me, don’t you think?

Still, it’s a worth while reading article put together by Susan that would certainly help folks understand why if you don’t have a blog you may as well start pondering whether you should have one or not. Maybe you should. I guess, unless you try (Another brilliant piece by Euan Semple, by the way!), you would never know! Maybe it’s also a good time for you to bring back to life your own blog; yes, that one that’s been abandoned for a good number of weeks, perhaps months! Yes, that one that you keep thinking of coming back soon enough to resume the conversations. You know it is there, you know you need it, you know it’s time to put together some deeper thoughts out there for everyone to comment on, yet, it doesn’t happen. In most cases, because you may feel you have lost your blogging mojo over the course of time, or perhaps because you may not know what you will be talking about this time around. Well, how about if we can help you come back to blogging? Would you consider it? … Think about it for a minute … Ready? Let’s go! Gran Canaria - Valsequillo in Winter Time

I know there are lots and lots of wonderful resources out there that I could surely recommend you that would be worth while your time, like the superb Copyblogger from Brian Clark with amazingly inspiring articles like “The 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging” (Another worth while read for those folks out there who are keen on getting back into their blogging mood), or like the inexhaustible and always resourceful Chris Brogan (With some brilliant stuff as of late, like Blog Ideas Community Members), or I could point you into the ultimate resource for your daily blogging inspiration with Darren Rowse‘s ProBlogger, but I think you would probably already know about those. So I’m going to recommend something else, slightly different, if I may …

Last week, my IBM colleague and blogging extraordinaire, Sacha Chua was invited by the wonderful Paul Gillin to host a Tweet Chat event, as part of a series of live tweeting events that infoBOOM has been hosting for a few weeks already. This time around, of course, around the topic of blogging itself. Now, I do wish Twitter would have played nicely and allowed us to keep a history of the tweets shared across, but alas, you know Twitter, that didn’t happen; there isn’t a single trace of that conversation inside Twitter any longer. It is “gone”! See? Another reason to have a blog, if you would ask me! In fact, that’s what we have! Take a look into the delightful blog post that Sacha put together under the title “Questions and answers from #infoboomSC tweetchat on blogging“.

In that blog entry you will see an almost identical timeline of the original Tweet Chat event that Sacha hosted over the course of one hour. In that article you would see how Sacha covers all of the various different questions that people had around blogging and how she has shared extensive notes with plenty of hints and tips on how to get both personal and corporate blogging for yourself. Covering hot topics like finding time, finding inspiring topics to talk about, blogging techniques, lessons learned, finding ideas worth while sharing across, blogging tools, your blogging voice, blogging as a learning and knowledge sharing tool, etc. etc. Phew! A lot to cover in a single hour! Surely worth while reading though through it all the way; even if you are a seasoned blogger, I can tell you that you would learn a trick or two that you were not aware of from before on how to improve your own personal / business blogging.

And, finally, like I have recently blogged about over at “Making Business Sense of Social Media and Social Networking – Twitter For Business“, I would want to share with you folks one last very helpful resource that will surely inspire you quite a lot on rather revamp your dormant blog once again, or give you the final push to start your own from scratch. Yes, indeed, as part of that series of FREE education sessions that my good friend, and colleague, Chad Laws, has been organising along with Paul Gillin himself under the same theme I have just mentioned above, this week we had, yet again, another brilliant enablement session; this time around, of course, on the topic of “Starting and Maintaining a Blog“.

Gran Canaria - Valsequillo in Winter TimeOver the course of nearly one hour, Paul shared with us plenty of his own experiences on what makes great blogging, whether internal or external; at the same time he has put together such a comprehensive list of hints and tips on pro-blogging that it would not be fair to name them all in this blog post, just like that, as I am sure I will be missing the odd one here and there. That’s why I encourage you all to have a look and download the slides for “Starting and Maintaining a Blog” and go through them yourself. I can certainly confirm each and every slide would be worth your time. Specially, if you are also looking for a good amount of blogging examples that Paul included as well in that slide deck.

But, if you can actually spare about one hour, I can suggest something else as well. Go and download the replay of this education session, that includes both audio and video, and get ready to be blown away by the huge amount of information and great insights on effective and efficient blogging that Paul shared over the course of that one hour. I tell you, whether you are new to blogging and not sure where to start, or whether you are a seasoned blogger (Like I guess I can consider myself after approaching, fast and furious, my 8th bloggiversary later on this year…), there will be something new out there in that recording and set of slides that you will be learning. I can guarantee you that! I got tons of new ideas to fine tune both my blogging style and voice and I surely plan to pick things up  and introduce a number of them over here, so that you can get to see them live and find out how they could work out for you, too.

For now though I am going to leave things as is and perhaps just encourage you all to go ahead and download the replay of the enablement session we had yesterday with Paul himself and, then, after watching it, I am sure you would be able to answer this question rather quick and very accurately: Is Blogging Dead?

… My answer: Not any time soon! Thus let’s all keep blogging!

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