Zen and the art of blogging

Some of my co-workers are beginning to participate in our internal k-log pilot. Here are my tips for new bloggers based on my experiences thus far…

1. The blog is primarily for you. It is your backup brain. To think that you have “nothing important to say” is a natural reaction when starting out. When you realize the primary audience of your blog is you, it frees you from the burden of trying to be interesting, entertaining, or even particularly informative. Our ability to harvest the knowledge captured in everyone’s backup brain by indexing all of the k-logs in our company with a search engine is a great side-benefit.

2. Let the focus of your blog happen naturally. If you don’t already know what you’ll focus on, don’t worry and don’t push it. Eventually, the content will speak for itself.

3. Use categories from the beginning to organize your posts. Don’t worry about setting up a perfect personal taxonomy right off the bat. When you start to notice a trend in your posts, create a category. I haven’t found a convenient way to categorize or re-categorize old posts. I’ve seen some discussion around it and it does not seem straightforward.

4. Promote your blog internally. If you used to send links and/or commentary to co-workers via email, post those instead to your blog. Until adoption becomes widespread you may need to continue to send email. Instead of sending the primary links, though, send permalinks to the relevant blog post. The goal is to train people to refer to your blog for the type of information you used to send to their inbox, and, maybe you’ll spark some interest in the blog pilot.

5. Update your blog often, but do not force a post just because you haven’t posted in a while. It is important to incorporate scanning the aggregator and making posts into your daily routine. If a post isn’t forthcoming, spend the time looking for interesting news feeds you haven’t subscribed to yet or surfing content outside of the scope of your aggregator.

6. Mix business with pleasure. Your blog is obviously a great way to share your subject matter expertise with your colleagues or other interested parties. Don’t be afraid to incorporate personal content. In our company, we spend so much time with clients that we run the risk of losing touch with our co-workers. Mixing business and personal content can be a good way to stay in touch with co-workers and it makes the blog more interesting. Use common sense about what to post based on your company culture.