I’m finally taking the next step in the relationship.
My relationship with Social Networking, that is. This next big step is starting my own blog. I have an intimate understanding of the commitment required for tools like Facebook, Twitter and Yammer and enjoy those casual encounters. But blogging? Sure, it looks easy and everyone seems to be doing it, but I’ve been very deliberately putting it off for years. It’s obvious to me that I shouldn’t start blogging unless I’m truly committed to putting fingers to keyboard every week or so at a minimum – willing to string together thoughts of more than 140 characters. This is certainly the advice I give to others. Even when I’ve built and managed blogging tools, I have coached senior executives NOT to start a blog because they aren’t passionate about it. I explain that if they start and don’t keep at it, then they will lose credibility with their staff, many of whom have their own blogs and DO find the time to write about things they know on a regular basis.
That’s the trick though isn’t it. Writing what you know. Writing about your passions. Mine? To name a few – Collaboration, Innovation, Risk Management, Environment, Home Renovation – all of which are hot topics right now (ever heard of HGTV?). It’s easy to think there’s nothing new I could offer. After all, even if I read all day, everyday, I wouldn’t be able to consume all of the information that’s being posted about these topics.
But friends and colleagues keep asking me for the web address to my mental musings. They want to know what I think about things. It is good that those who know me well also trust my insights and opinions. They want to know what I find relevant and what I feel about this opinion or that commentary. In some cases they want me to be their filter – to help them sort through the masses of information or offer a shortcut solution to their problem. It can be a bit daunting. I wouldn’t want to let them down.
Fortunately for me there’s a lot of history to draw upon. I’ve been developing collaborative solutions since before the term “intranet” was coined; working closely with a firm specializing in innovation; managing risk before Enron; working for environmental change since Project SOAR in 1971; and remodeling houses before HGTV aired its first show.
The fact is we all have something to offer. Perhaps a wealth of experience. Or some new or different way of seeing things. Maybe the ability to listen and assess when others are busy talking. There are times when something that seems incredibly obvious to you will be the “Eureka!” moment for someone else. So here I go, starting my blog. Finally taking that big step. Making the commitment after years of flirting. It feels right.
Take a minute to consider your own situation. I assure you that you have something to offer. Start collecting a list of topics. Pick a good blogging tool (most are free, and easy). Experiment a bit. Then, when the time is right and you are comfortable with the situation, take the step – hit the publish button.