Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

Sitting at perfection station and watching the trains go by

29 October, 2009

I can be a picky bugger. I like things to work exactly how I planned and I get more than a little peeved if they don’t. That’s the main reason I’ve not posted anything on this blog in over two months. As always life takes over and the blog gets neglected, that’s cool everyone’s blog gets neglected sometimes. The thing is once I decide that I want to write something I feel the I need to change the world with one blog post.

Inevitably I’ll write many many drafts, which funnily enough wont change the world, so I don’t post them. Then I start getting pissed off about not coming up with anything ‘good enough’ and before I know it, two months of work, conversations and learning have drifted past with no reflection or analysis.

The thing is in the last two months I’ve worked on some cool things, encountered some big challenges and are now spending lots of time thinking about what the next step is. Surely stopping a few times along the way to record where it was going would have been a good idea.

So there it is, “release early, release often” sound familiar? I’ll try to apply that mantra to my blog… maybe I’ll actually learn something.

UPDATE: In true realease early release often fashion… I hit the publish button before I proof read this! It must be fate 🙂

A gem from my RSS reader

23 January, 2009

When sifting through my Web and Enterprise 2.0 folder I found this gem on Jermiah Owyang’s blog.  – To give credit where it is due here’s the credit as stated by Jermiah:

Thanks to Joey DeVilla for posting this, who learned of this from David Meerman Scott who was in contact with Capt. Faggard who’s involved with the Airforce’s social media team…

On to the Goodness! This flow chart outlines a process to respond to negative blog comments and I reckon it is awesome. one of the key messages I have been spreading around the office over the last 12 months or so is that negative comments are an opportunity rather than a problem. This flowchart illustrates that in a simple and easy to follow way.

air-force-blog-comment-assessment

If you receive a negative comment on your or your employer’s blog, don’t freak out!

Have a look at it, then have a think about it and then decide if you want to respond and if so, how you will. Taking these steps will help you and your brand look more professional and in control.

Which Blog?

21 October, 2008

A colleague sent me an email yesterday asking:

I’m thinking of setting up my own blog, but I want it to be pretty good, so I’m happy to spend a bit of money if required.

What software would you recommend me to use? What features should I be looking for?

I thought my response might make for a interesting post. 🙂

They are all much of a muchness. If you don’t mind paying a few bucks a month, I would recommend WordPress. you can either use the free version (wordpress.com) which is what I use and what we use for the Congress and KM blogs or you can pay a hosting service to host a version of the downloadable wordpress for you.

I reckon the free version is ok, the main limitation is you can’t use Google analytics to track your site traffic (or embed any other widget that uses JavaScript), but the built in stats page is ok . You can add your own domain, which I am going to do at some point, so micktl.wordpress.com, will ultimately become micktleyden.com.

You can choose from a range of themes, many of which can be customised if you know what your doing (or know someone who does).

My advice would be to start out with a free one and see how you use it. Blogs take a LOT of effort to maintain, there might not be much point in paying for a you-beaut set up if you decide it isn’t for you after giving it a try. There’s nothing wrong with that I personally like blogging and twitter, but I don’t really like Facebook, so everyone has their own preferences.

If you do want a permanent presence it doesn’t matter much which platform you use. Most of your regular readers will subscribe to your blog via RSS and never see your site again. As long as the site is clean and easy to navigate (mine is way to messy at the moment!) it will work.

Regarding features, add an RSS feed from Feedburner.com it gives you pretty detailed tracking info and will allow users to subscribe via RSS or Email, Once you have got a few comments I would add a recent comments widget to the sidebar. It shows new users your blog is a happening place! I would also try and come up with a system for tags and categories before you start, mine are a MESS and not much help to anyone! One other feature I would look for is email in posting (that is write a post in email then send it to an address for publication) or mobile access. WordPress.com has a limited mobile version but it isn’t great and does not offer email in.

If you want it to be more than just a blog for example an online catalogue or CV, go with a hosted option as you can customise it a lot and make it look sexy. The two other main platforms are typepad.com, blogger.com. I would avoid Vox.com as you need to be a registered Vox user to comment.

What do you reckon? Am I off the mark?

More on why I like blogging

25 August, 2008

I wrote this post for one of our corporate blogs, and thought it would work well here too. It does not read quite as well as the original as I have removed company names to continue my tradition of keeping this tram brandless. 🙂
You are reading a blog right now, potentially if you read this blog you may read many other blogs, but do you have a blog of your own?  I’d like to talk about a few reasons to consider creating your own blog.

The blog is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool, it can be used in many different ways to achieve many different outcomes, below are a few of my favourites.

News feed / marketing tool

A blog provides you with a simple means of providing news to your clients and colleagues. Many bloggers I read use their blogs as a vehicle to inform current and potential clients of work, projects, successes and challenges. Providing news of your latest accomplishments and projects can also become a valuable marketing tool.

Learning space

There are two main ways a blog can be used as a learning tool, to learn from yourself and to learn from others. I believe the most powerful learning occurs when the two come together. I have a blog which I use to record my thoughts, challenges and things I find interesting about my work. Simply going through the process of thinking through an issue and constructing a post often leads me to inspiration I may not have found. I’m fortunate enough that there are a few very smart people who occasionally read my blog, the insight they provide through their comments and suggestions have provided ideas and resources which regularly help me to be more effective in my work.


Work log

How often have you got to the end of the month and felt like you have been incredibly busy but could not describe what you were actually doing? Taking ten minutes a couple of times a week to jot down what you have been up to can provide you with a couple of benefits. Firstly, you have a record of work that you have been doing that you can refer back to, and secondly you have a record of your work that your colleagues, staff or clients can refer back to. In this post Melbourne KM’er Keith De La Rue talks about the importance of capturing stories. Capturing and publishing stories of work, challenges, problems and solutions may open doors for collaboration that may have otherwise gone unopened.

These are just three reasons to blog, my main advice is give it a try. Start by recording a few thoughts, if you are keen to build a network around your blog comment on blogs about topics similar to yours (Google Blog Search is a good place to start looking for blogs). I started blogging after hearing several people talk about how much they had learned from the discussions they had participated in through their blogs. After blogging for 6 months I couldn’t agree more, the trick is to give it a try, be persistent and experiment. You may not realise the benefit in the first week but after 3 months you may well look at blogging in a completely different light.

I thought this was a comment…

29 July, 2008

A couple of interesting things came up in the comments on my last post. Mary Abraham has found new energy for the concept of ‘encouraged’ internal blogging as a reflective tool, and Michael Axelsen talked about the potential pitfalls of corporate blogging. Today I’m going to tackle the first issue, writing for a corporate blog has been a challenge for me lately and I reckon there is a whole other post on that topic!

I’ll start with the guts of Mary’s comment on my last post

“It’s hard when a tool used initially for primarily social purposes is moved within a corporate environment. There inevitably is a restriction of freedom that comes with that transition. While I understand and sympathize with the social media purists, I’m also cognizant of the needs of the organizations that adopt these tools.”

I must admit, I’ve always struggled when rigid frameworks are applied to a concept. I did a KM subject at uni that focused on Communities of Practice. This was my first exposure to CoPs and the concept blew me away. Until that point I had never even considered informal learning, and knew little about knowledge management. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my head around the lecturer’s definition of a CoP, he described it as a very specific group with a very specific purpose. Rather than encouraging debate about natural knowledge communities that we had observed in our workplaces and how we could encourage them as part of a learning strategy; he debated with us for the entire class about which groups fitted the CoP mould and which didn’t. In the end I think we missed an opportunity to discuss how we could enhance our practice using this concept because we got caught up on details of the definition.

I see this happening in the response to Mary’s initial post. Sure, what is described is not necessarily a social activity, but does that mean it has no purpose or value? Today Mary advanced the argument for reflective blogging even further:

“This seems like a legitimate request for management to make. If employees have learned something, this request will encourage them to record that information where it can be shared and used by others. If they are given the time to reflect and the tools to record their reflections but don’t have anything to record, that’s an important indication to management.

…Does management need to take a closer look at the organizational culture that permits this approach?”

In response to Mary’s post, I found myself wondering where a tool is classified as social media, if a blog is purely used for reflective purposes, is it social media? If I use del.icio.us only to keep track of my bookmarks between work and home (as I did for the first few months I used the tool), is that social media?

I don’t know the answer to that but I do think that we should look at tools in terms of potential use, rather than typical use.

But no one said anything!

18 April, 2008

How do you determine if a corporate blog is successful? We launched a CEO’s blog last year, the aim appears to have been to discuss ‘thought leadership’ issues with our staff and customers. 5 months or so later I keep being told that we don’t get many comments so it’s really a bit of a bomb.

I’ve got a couple of other blogs to get up and running, so I have been brainstorming objectives, coercing staff and suppliers to write regular posts, planning what topics will be addressed in the first few weeks and looking at platforms. The point I am at now is determining success factors. If the new blogs I launch don’t receive twenty comments for each post does that mean they are not successful? I’m thinking not.

Here are a couple of examples where comments are not the primary measure of success.

This blog
I hardly ever get comments on this blog…then again, I hardly ever get any hits! Neither of those things bother me because it is much more about the experience of setting up the blog and getting my ideas into a coherent format than establishing an audience. If I do establish an audience cool! It isn’t my primary objective though.

Contributing to a discussion
I read many blogs that don’t have many comments on them but the are linked to from loads of different people and places. If your peers suggest that you make a good point or take issue with your point you are a part of the discussion.

Bottom line, if you haven’t got a list of comments a mile long don’t despair, just think about why you’re writing the blog and have a look for some other measures.

I hope somone comments on this post!!! 🙂

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