This week Conversation Agent celebrated one year. It's a baby step, yet I feel so wise already. In a way I said to myself -- there's no trying, there's doing and not doing. My Mediterranean skin has thickened further, although I had no time to get a sun tan.
I titled this post The Year of Living Dangerously after the famous movie by Peter Weir. An all time favorite especially for the performances of Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver. There was definitely much less drama with starting a blog than there was in the movie story plot. Yet, this is vivere pericoloso all the same.
As we read on posts by fellow bloggers this last week Quechup has been posing as a legit social network when it is not. Well, there is another site that will let anyone create a profile on you. I will not link it here as they already violated privacy and thus trust. It's called Peek You.
They pose as a social network, yet your profile may have been scraped by someone paid to snoop on you and enter your data there. Why ? I can only begin to imagine. Clearly, they are not concerned about violating privacy or asking permission.
This is the dark side, the one you do not join freely, and are forced to police -- it should be discouraged with all means. They even encourage the vigilante stance "Create a watch list so you can closely follow changes to your favorite profiles." I encourage the folks there to rethink their model or they should be shut down. Even the name suggests spying on.
The key consideration that crosses the minds of companies when thinking about starting a blog is that there is a large degree of uncertainty. Opening up to comments is just one consideration. Rewarding effort has never been a key tenet of our relationship with companies and brands -- it's either great or terrible. How many "in betweens" can you think of?
Another challenge is coming up with fresh content -- that is not mere promotional material -- regularly. If you worked in a marketing or public affairs department on the client side, you will know that the resources are fewer, the budgets are stretched further every day, and the need to follow approval protocols (especially in highly regulated industries) will hamper the best intentions.
My aim in starting a blog was much simpler, and easier to implement -- I wanted to learn from peers and about new media (doing for me is best), share what I know (oodles of factoids and information in two languages) and continue connecting professionals with like minded business people and ideas.
The tool was just the beginning, what fascinated me and allowed me to leap forward in many ways have been the dynamics. As Gibson in the movie, I have often meditated on how "all is clouded by desire" -- as humans we strive to be more and do more all the time. My desire to express was greatly augmented by years spent serving children who may not have a chance to run one day, or to sing at the top of their lungs. It is to their gifts to me that I return time and over again. And of course to the great Italian traditions of being expansive in the conversation.
By far, the best part of publishing has been meeting my readers. I admit it, I have talked about many topics of interest to attract a variety of you -- diversity enriches conversations and accelerates greatly the birth of ideas. For my blogiversary, I would like to turn the mike to you:
- What ideas have you been able to execute after building momentum and sharing thoughts on your blogs?
- If you could meet any blogger in the flesh, who would you meet?
Why not do both? Remember, there's no trying -- there's doing and not doing. Join the conversation here and bring yourself and lots of ideas at the 2008 Blogger Social in NYC, April 4-6. More details here.