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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

This is a valuable post

Uh-oh. I've just realised there's no such thing as a blog. Not when you disclose who you are and who you work for, anyway. It's all corporate blogging from here on in. I admit it, I'm a clogger.

I've come to realise this through the last two posts - the first real posts posted since I've been a person and no longer hiding behind a nice comfy alias.

But, in an unexpected twist, the value of the end product has become an intrinsic part of the writing process. In the past, I've been comfortable having a bit of a whinge. Then I'd perhaps linkbait a bit, and have a go at someone for loose morals. After that, I'd swear for effect.

Now, I'm constantly thinking contextually. In my head is a torrent of questions: "What will people think of me if I say this? What will people infer about my employer if I say that? Does this comment upset any client / boss / balance of power? Will readers be turning up at my office as an angry, torch-wielding mob?"

In truth, my valuable posts - ie. the ones where I make an interesting point about corporate blogging, and don't just whinge / linkbait / swear for effect - have always been the ones that get people emailing, commenting and, hopefully, talking. I've been meaning to do more of those, anyway.

I'm interested in finding out what happens next. Will my future posts eventually evolve into watered-down tosh that tow the corporate line and give in to my commercial interests, or will my new focus on quality actually mean I post with more care and create an end product with greater value? You decide, and be sure to let me know.

But whatever happens, there are interesting lessons here for all corporate bloggers: Don't just treat your blog as a way to vent your opinions or self-satisfyingly drone on about your latest customer win or product release. Don't get too focused on your own little world and the problems you face or successes you enjoy. Try and add value to the reader experience through giving something back to them of value, such as advice from a lesson learnt or conversational fodder from an anecdote based in fact.

Actually, it helps to treat your blogging like you're at a dinner party - if you realise you're enjoying the sound of your own voice and others haven't spoken for a while, shut up and listen.

Tagged: | | |


Blogger David Tebbutt said...

Congratulations Cloggy. You've scored a whopping 5.3% (that's good, folks) on your 'reader focus' and a minute 0% on yourself. Your fog index is a bit high at 8.0, but what an example to us all.

If you don't know what I'm droning on about, I guess you'll have to look at this post

9:29 pm  
Blogger Wade Rockett said...

May I ask if you spoke to your HR person and/or your boss before you began blogging, either when you launched as "nobleizer" or when you decided to step out from the shadows?

When I started blogging about work-related topics, I envied you and copyranter a bit because using a pseudonym freed you from worrying about the things you described above. But I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep anonymity up for long - it's confining in too many other ways.

So I checked with HR to see what (if anything) our blog policy was. The upshot was, (a) don't reveal confidential information, and (b) please blog as a responsible adult, and not a crazy asshole. These seemed like very reasonable guidelines.

5:45 pm  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Wade - good comments from your HR people, they sound like they know the score. Many would just worry themselves silly.

I didn't ask permission, but then my company is one that encourages blogging. Plus, if anyone was to set our corporate blogging guidelines, I'd probably be involved in that process somewhere anyway.

I like copyranter's style a lot, but anonymity doesn't provide much satisfaction after a while.

That said, I am feeling a little 'toned down' as I settle in to my new voice. If I continue to feel this way, I may have to start a new blog and vent some steam there.

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Sherrilynne Starkie said...

I wonder if Strumpette saw this post. He should read it.

10:11 am  

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