That is the first thing you need to think about if you're planning to be strategic about your blog. Then, instead of focusing on success, focus on the path that will keep you on purpose. Why? Because success changes and stays in the future - be honest, you keep upping the ante.
While the path, part of which is a process that will help you stay productive, is the here and now - the decisions you need to make tonight, every day and every week. Dan Pink quotes the recently departed Russell Ackoff (emphasis mine):
“All of our social problems arise out of doing the wrong thing righter. The more efficient you are at doing the wrong thing, the wronger you become. It is much better to do the right thing wronger than the wrong thing righter! If you do the right thing wrong and correct it, you get better!”
Being strategic means you set your tone, style and substance, instead of trying to fit the blogging mold carved before you. And it means you adapt - leaving room for flexibility, for the instances in which you change the way you use the tool for the purpose at hand.
Purpose broader than medium
Tools and media change. When you set your sight on the reason why you do something, you can ride those changes with more ease. Chances are that integration of various media will play a better complement to your blogging efforts, than any one specific recipe - take half time on Twitter, two thirds on Facebook, and mix with LinkedIn. Shaken not stirred, two olives (and make it a vodka Martini).
The ratio of time depends on where your base is - are you mostly a micro blogging person, for example - and therefore where your connections and community form first. Do you try to build everything out at once? How is it working out?
There's a time for every purpose
The reason for diversification, which includes off line, is that different people gravitate towards different media. Whatever your purpose is, part of the appeal of having an online presence is the ability to attract like minded people as well as people not like you who you'd rarely come across otherwise.
Diversification helps you keep the ratio of new connections fresh.
We all use social networks for different things. For example, LinkedIn tends to be where people are more focused on business contacts, company and people search, business intelligence, and advice. Facebook, despite its weird usability, or maybe thanks to it, is more for meeting people with common interests. Twitter can be used effectively to expand your network exponentially.
It's not usually just about the blog- it's about the blog ecosystem. It's the same way with many things in business - think about public or people relations and interactive marketing, perfect to go together - and in life. The key is to take small steps, make incremental improvements and changes until you feel comfortable expanding and creating a process.
Take for example going from not running at all, to training for a marathon. You start with a little bit of jogging, then insert sprints, then build some distance, then work on speed, then more distance, and so on. You find out what works for you and learn to listen to your rhythms.
Integration works for generating ideas, building a portfolio of ways in which you communicate and socialize what you learn.
The deck in this post has been with me for several months now as a visual stimulation for talking about building conversations online and offline. The title will be a bit off putting to some. Get past that and dive in with me.
What is your purpose for blogging? What are the direct and indirect ways in which you can accomplish that?
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.