Ask a Simple Question

It all started with some folks in Australia that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting: Laurel Papworth, Kate Carruthers and James Dellow. Each of them asked a simple question: How do you decide how/what/when to blog? James tagged Samuel Driessen, John Tropea and Jack Vinson. And then Samuel tagged me.

So how do I decide how/what/when to blog?

The HOW of blogging is relatively easy — at my iMac with a cup of something caffeinated nearby; multiple drafts until I get the content and tone right; and then a firedrill as I publish, discover the inevitable typo, fix it and republish.

The WHEN of blogging used to be early in the morning. However, as I’ve discovered more readers in other time zones, I’ve learned it makes more sense to write and publish at night. This means that by the time I’ve poured my morning cup of caffeine, my friends and readers elsewhere have left comments on my blog to continue the conversation. It’s a great way to start the day.

Closely related to WHEN is HOW OFTEN I blog. Over time, I’ve steadily built up the pace of my blogging from once or twice each week to once each weekday. Since I don’t blog from the office, posting multiple times during the day really isn’t practical. To be honest, publishing even once each weekday is pretty demanding and I don’t know if it is truly sustainable over the long term. Time will tell.

WHAT I blog about is really the hardest question to answer. I started out with a fairly clear focus: dealing with the non-technology elements of knowledge management that often end up being overlooked, even though they are so critical to KM success. What I soon discovered is that this focus encompasses a fairly wide territory. Deciding which section of that territory to explore on any given day is largely dictated by chance: What did I read or hear that sparked my curiosity? What have I been thinking about that could benefit from the rigor of writing? What issue has been troubling me and won’t give me peace until I’ve wrestled with it in writing? What question would I like to put into the blogosphere in order to have the benefit of the many thoughtful points of view provided by my favorite bloggers?

While I draw on my own experience and the experience of friends and colleagues, I tend not to blog about the personal. And, despite the considerable temptations provided by the US election cycle, I’ve refrained from discussing politics and religion. Money and gender do come up from time to time, but I’m only human.

And, while I’m doing this, I try to stay true to myself. A dear family friend recently told me that my blog posts sounded so much like me that reading my blog was like having a conversation with me. I was pleased to hear this since it has always seemed to me that authenticity of tone is critical in the blogosphere where so many of our relationships are virtual.

Enough about me. Who is next?

Early in October, I had the great pleasure of serving on a terrific panel on the topic of Blogging as Knowledge Management. Doug Cornelius convened the group and the other panelists were Bill Ives and Jack Vinson. Jack has already participated in this meme, so I’d like to draw in Doug and Bill and ask them to answer the question. In addition, I’d like to tag some bloggers I haven’t yet been fortunate enough to meet in person, but whose posts I always read. They never fail to be thoughtful and thought-provoking. So, here are the bloggers to whom I’d like to issue an invitation to participate:

Doug Cornelius (KM Space)
Jordan Furlong (Law21)
Mark Gould (Enlightened Tradition)
Bill Ives (Portals and KM)
Patrick Lambe (Green Chameleon)

Thanks, Samuel, for providing today’s blog post topic. All I’ve been able to do is offer a provisional answer. I expect it’s something I’ll come back to and answer differently from time to time.

4 thoughts on “Ask a Simple Question

  1. Hi James -Nice to meet you too! (As I wrote in my post, it’s great to wake up to comments. Thank you.)- Mary

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