Sunday, 15 February 2009

To blog or not to blog? that is the question

I have been thinking about my next blog post for some time. And thinking about it has in a way prevented me in writing it - a contradiction in real terms, I know, but still absolutely true. It is not that I don't want to write my blog, it has more been like a real creative block rather than a fear of the blank html page.

So I thought why not blog about this. In effect I think this is the problem many businesses face - to blog or not to blog? - and what to blog about.

Blogging is no longer a new communications tool, it has been around for a long time. It is very often coined with the term; Web 2.0, which was a term first used by the ever inspiring Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilley) back in 2004 - though the first web logs or blogs started much earlier, back in the 90's. However many businesses and organisations are still trying to find their way with Web 2.0 and blogging in particular.

So why is it proving such a challenge when blogs now clearly are mainsteam?

I think some of the main obstructions in getting a blog off the ground is a fear of the unknown resource implications and not creating a publishing plan from the outset. If you plan a set of blog topics, it will appear much easier to simply get on with writing and then take part in the conversation. This is however often easier on an individual basis than through a corporate organisation or business blog.

Very often the sign-off chain of command before the blog can be published result in bottlenecks, delays and lost opportunities. And the major perceived resource investment in keeping a blog current can more often than not put actual breaks on any progress and hold back the adoption of a corporate blog. It takes time to write a blog, answer any comments and keep it current and up-to-date.

This brings us on to the advantage of micro-blogging; it is faster than a full blog post - quick to write, quick to respond, quick to engage and it is not necessary to have a formalised sign-off for publishing. It is obviously still important to decide a policy for micro blogging to ensure professional conduct at all times.

From my own perspective, I couldn't quite understand at first, why I haven't blogged more frequently. I have found it so much easier to be active in terms of micro-blogging particularly on Twitter where I tweet many times daily (- please feel free to follow me - @Hannechr. In the beginning I thought it would be really daunting and difficult to write anything in 140 characters - now it seems second nature.

And this does seem to be a common trend which is catching on in businesses and organisations; micro-blogging is more straight forward and fast to contend with. It still takes time to make real progress and enter into the conversation, but it seems to happen much faster with social media sites such as Twitter than building up an audience for a blog. So, perhaps this is the reason why I haven't blogged. I have been so content with micro-blogging that my blog seemed too be too much effort.

So I have decided instead of feeling that I have to write to this blog all the time, I will write here when I feel, I need to expand and provide more detail on the conversations I am having on Twitter and elsewhere.

So if you don't see a new post on here follow me on Twitter - @Hannechr and let's have a conversation there.

What is your experience; are you opting not to blog because of time or resource constraints? - or are you blogging because this is still hugely valuable to your business? Or have you chosen to combine your blog with micro-blogging?

If you read this, please Tweet this to your followers (just copy and paste the following into your Twitter bar): To blog or not to blog? that is the question: (@Hannechr)

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