I used to read your blogs all the time -- and then I didn't. Today I figured out why not... blogs need authors!
It's not that the current blogs aren't full of articles that are informative, timely, well written, etc etc... they are. But I don't go to blogs to read "articles" -- I go to blogs to get a point of view, to get a fresh take on a topic, to get some attitude maybe. The "old blogs" told me right up front with a picture & a name whose voice I was going to hear, and that's what I came for .
All good blogs come from an individual person with a passion - I'd like to see your blogs organized around your people again, not just around "toics."
You're right. That's why most people read blogs, not just ours. In fact, in our blog documentation, we advise communities to turn their bloggers loose to be themselves.
Look for a new batch of blog posts in the next two days in my Coming Attractions blog. It will be me talking.
Hi Mike - great to hear from you, and thanks for the feedback. Susan is right, our 'best practice' advice is to find the passionate bloggers, mobilize them and give them a platform to blog frequently on subjects that interest them. If you can find the people, that situation works well.
If you can't find people who fit that bill, then you have a couple of choices - don't blog at all, have a blog program with meagre content, or find a way to work with your resources, workloads and demands to fill the need of the user.
I agree with your overall assessment up to a point - when I joined a year ago, we had a blog program which honestly was flagging a bit. I had two pretty active authors, and 10 who had so much on their plate they couldn't get to the blog at all any more. To help ensure we didn't continue this situation, we reorganized the programs to ensure we could talk about Strategy, Best Practice, the Platform and the community in a set of four common blogs.
Since then we added Susan's blog to the Customer section for all the in depth details and viewpoint on the releases.
For the bloggers who were keen and passionate they still lead a blog - so Mike Wu, our Principal Scientist, still is the primary writer for the product blog, but when appropriate we have the 'expert' in a particular area add an article.
So you'll see Yumio, Matt or Patrick adding articles, thoughts and comments when appropriate.
Can I ask you if the crux of your comments are about if we're not displaying as much individuality in our blogs any more? I know for a fact, there is more focused content, indepth and serialized topics, guest bloggers from the industry and video content, but are we losing our personal touch? Is that what you'd like to see more of? Would be really interested in your thoughts.
Thanks - PG
I understand why you went the way you did on your blogs, and think it's generally the right strategy. I can empathize as I see some of the same challenges where I work - we have two rock start bloggers, and another half dozen, myself included, who have great intentions and probably something valuable to share, but just don't do so regularly enough due to our other demands, consequently our personalities probably don't really develop and shine through as they could.
In your case here, I think you have shifted to favor leading with strong content, delivered with precision, and the characters behind the blog are allowed to be somewhat secondary. Is this wrong? I think we ask what is one trying to achieve with a blog? I think it is about creating influence and perhaps sparking some change - moving the audience to action based on what they read. Perhaps there are several ways to bring this about.
Certainly, creating compelling content is one way. I find Michael Wu's blog to be fascinating - he's turning practioner Art into Science, and each post feels like a graduate level lecture, and that is pretty rare. So many blogs in the social space are just demonstrations of being social - making lists of who's who, and who's following who, and tweeting about who said what. You guys really have meaningful leadership content and that's rare.
A strong blogger personality can also be a way to build a following, but I don't know that it has to be the only way.
Now that Mike points it out, I think I can see that perhaps the blogs have become a bit more technical, and a bit less "Joe's view on why this stuff works, or Jake's experiences navigating through a community food fight", but I think that Lithium is humanizing itself effectively in other ways. Blogging helps create a personal connection that goes beyond the content. I think the videos that you have shared of Lyle on Scobelizer, or your Facebook sharing of seeing a film being made, and some of the crew shooting some scenes at Lithium help accomplish the same thing.
Maybe we aren't seeing everything through the lens of the Lithosphere blogs, but if we take a step back, I think it's all there.
Thanks as always for your thoughtful and insightful comments. You're right, balancing blog personality with corporate objectives is tricky, especially considering most organizations don't have the luxury of dedicated bloggers.
I will certainly look at ways we can bring more personality into the Lithosphere blogging platform, but I am also hoping that our expansion of activity on Facebook and Twitter can also help with that activity.
Of course any suggestions of things people would like to see on our blogs, please let us know!!