Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Blogging patterns

One thing I've been looking at as part of my corporate blogging research in preparation for our pilot later this year is how people blog -- what motivates someone to post, what impedes posting, what gets emailed instead of posted, is there a particular type of person who is more likely to blog, etc.

I haven't posted anything recently, and I wanted to look beyond the obvious ("I'm too busy. I don't have any time!") to see what might be contributing factors. So, yes, I've been busy, but I think the key is "busy doing what?"

First, I've taken some vacation, and for me vacation means total electronic disconnect. I don't want anything to do with computers when I'm on vacation. That, however, doesn't mean much from the corporate blogging perspective.

More significantly, I decided that I was spending too much of my day reading my feeds. When I'm really in research mode, I can't spend enough time reading my feeds, searching out new ones, etc. But instead of strategy and vision work, I've been working on new technology rollouts. This very different work requires specialized instead of general queries, which limits what I need to look at. More general research benefits from the serendipity of the feed reader. I've also discovered that when I do implementation work, I'm more likely to spend my evenings reading a book than online.

One thing that I did that had a real effect was organizing all of my feeds into a handful of categories. I'm much more likely to click on a link in Bloglines that says I have one or two new items than one that says I have 147. I was also pretty rigorous in defining "work" sites and "general interest" sites, which has cut down on serendipitous wandering as I look for the work-related nuggets in those general interest sites. With a different tool with different "mark read" behavior, this organization might not have the same effect.

For me, at least, the more feeds I read, the more likely I am to blog myself. It's not the posts are responses to what I've read, although some are. I've had a couple of things on the back burner for a while about work, but I've been out of the blogging mode. Reading feeds apparently contributes to the blogging frame of mind.

So, making the leap that others are like me, how do you create a corporate ecosphere where reading feeds daily helps you get your job done? Where this regular reading makes you more likely to post yourself, contributing to a virtuous circle? I think that partial email replacement is in the mix, but it's not the whole story. Thoughts?

3 Comments:

Blogger Dennis Smith said...

Eric - good thoughts. My approach is a bit different because I'm not really thinking about the corporate ecosphere and how my feed-reading or blogging impacts it.

I do think it helps me get my job done (like you mentioned). Because I believe my blogging and feed-reading is part of my work philosophy that enhances my career development. That said, i incorporate it into my work schedule and it's just a part of my "routine."

The new flow of info does get me about the business of blogging more. And, it keeps me educated about what's going on in the marketplace as it relates to my blogging topics.

Dennis

3:46 PM  
Blogger Guy said...

From my perspective, it's quality more than volume, especially when it portends a big shift in the psychic weather (either for me personally, or what I expect will be for others)

5:51 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

That may be it. Reading good stuff leads to the desire to share. Once you are in writing mode, you go on and post on other topics also.

This may explain the burstiness of many blogs, including ours.

10:24 PM  

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