Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How to blog

I was recently asked to jot down a few thoughts on How To Blog and it occurred to me I'd never taken the time and trouble to write down what a lot of us take for granted.

There are lots of people who don't blog (oh yes, I do recognise this) - lots in your own organisations. This then is intended to give a little steer and big shove of encouragement.

And, as always, it is far from complete. It's the story so far, and it's one compiled from doing it and learning from masters - many of whom you'll find listed under 'Recommended Blogs'. And it'll get updated, thanks to your comments.

This isn't intended to explain why you should blog or what you might get out of it. You only have to look around this blog to see the connections blogging has forged for me, the ideas and opportunities that have grown from those, the relationships I could only have established from this little piece of me online. If you have the time.

If you don't, consider two things:
1. Doc Searl's assertion that blogging didn't make him rich, but it did make him valuable
2. The following video, the very excellent blogs in plain english Worth 3mins of your time because it just might change your life...



This then is not about the tools, it is about the attitudes you should try to carry with you as you expose yourself to the blogosphere...

12 Golden Rules of Blogging (...so far)

1. Speak in an authentic human voice: your own.
2. Write about what really interests you. Don’t think of broadcasting to an audience, think of having a conversation with a small group of people. Expect them to join in.
3. Don’t even try to answer all the questions you raise.
4. Worry less about quality and more about relevance.
5. Be brave. Say what you think.
6. Link out. Point at other stuff you think is good. This is how networks of trust are formed. Find other bloggers who are interested in the same things as you. Visit them regularly, add them to your own blogroll. This not only serves you well, it also serves those who visit. They are interested in what you are interested in - that's how they found you.
7. Only share things with your community if you think they will find them useful. They’ll think less of you if you don’t (if you just spam them with product plugs, for example…) This is neither in your or your company’s interest (if you happen to be considering blogging as a tool of marketing communications).
8. You don't have to be a writer. Pictures, slidedecks and videos work fine, too.
9. Post on other people’s blogs – you'll create stronger ties with members of your network of trust and allow their readers to discover you and your blog. Don't worry - If they don't find you relevant, they won't stay. Encourages feedback on your own.
10. Be useful. Don’t just link to your own stuff or sites you plan to promote, do it because it’s relevant or useful.
11. Be honest. People will see through a con, no matter how clever. It only takes one of them to find you out and they’ll tell everyone else. Best bet: Don’t try to fool anyone. If you don’t have the answers, say so. People sharing your purpose will help you find the answer.
12. Respond to comments on your own blog as fast as you can and with humilty – join the conversation, it belongs to us all.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Start one now.

FasterFuture.blogspot.com

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?