Commandeering the Conversation













Last week David Mullen asked people who read his blog to “share gems.” As I read the comments following the post, I noticed how many of them were less “business tips to be a better professional” and more “wise words to be a better person.” While some people added tidbits from professional mentors, others shared quotations that had become their mantras.


It’s funny how the comments on a blog post can change the conversation.


The same thing happened a couple months ago when Chris Brogan posted “50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business.” (In fact, I tweeted about my interest.) In the comments section, someone mentioned that an intern was working on the company’s Twitter account. Chris responded and asked, “Is Twitter an intern-level platform?” and “Did you put your brand in the hands of an intern?” These questions spurred even more comments about the roles of interns, who they are and what they can handle. (As an intern, I of course threw in my two cents!)


I think it’s great to see the conversation branch out in different directions. Not only do we get to see what people had to say about the original blog post, but also some other thoughts that occurred to them while they read it or even ideas they’d been playing with for a while.


What do you think? Do you welcome the change? Or do you think it’s like that annoying kid at the lunch table who didn’t listen to what everyone had to say and just carried on a tirade about whatever subject he wanted? (Yeah, I had one of those…all through high school.)


Should we stick to the program and only comment on-topic? Save the other stuff for another time?


Update: Another lesson learned: don’t wait two days to post what you write. Chris Brogan made his opinion on this subject known over at his blog by asking readers to “Make It [Their] Blog” on Oct. 15 and following up with “Posts from the Comments” featuring Rebekkah Hilgraves yesterday and Mike Sachleben today. I’m going to chalk this one up to “great minds…”


*Image by joguldi.


Back on the Blogwagon

I thought unemployment would allow me plenty of free time to immerse myself in the culture of the blogosphere.


I was wrong.


For one thing, unemployment left me without the daily demand for creativity and novelty. Lacking a steady, challenging workload, I lost my focus. For a little while, I kept up with Twitter and reading blogs, but nothing inspired me enough to write my own.


And then my computer crashed. I lost all my browser bookmarks as well as all my job search documents and blog article ideas. I started using my roommate’s persnickety PC to check my e-mail and search for employment, but my other online habits took a nosedive.


After Apple replaced my hard drive, I tried to recover as much as possible. (Thank goodness so many applications were sent as e-mail attachments!) But I just didn’t have the same zeal as I had in early August.


And now, one day back at work in a public relations agency, I am ready to start blogging…again.


So what have I learned? Challenges demand results. The more creativity I need on a project, the more ideas spike my curiosity. My job is currently my source for challenge and creativity. Thus, by the transitive property, employment inspires me. (Don’t believe me? Whatever, I don’t care, I don’t major in math.)


What inspires you? What do you like to blog about? When do questions and ideas come to you?

Who should write a blog?

It seems like everyone is blogging these days. It’s not just for tech geeks and emo kids anymore. Blogs are not only a great medium for expressing opinions and keeping friends updated, but also for sharing practical information and connecting with like-minded people.

One of the first tips I got when I embarked on my job search was to start a blog and start reading and commenting on other profession-focused blogs. I eased into the practice by using Twitter to connect with PR professionals who directed me to interesting articles about industry practices and news.

All of this was going well. I felt informed and was making connections. And then something happened that made me step up. I went to an IABC social event in Charlotte to network with area professionals and met a guy who was trying to get a broadcast job. He said he’d been looking for a job, applying and interviewing for about a year and had only secured a weekend weather reporting spot. After talking to this man for a while, I found myself recommending that he start a blog – or, better yet I said, a vlog! After all, he has all this television broadcast experience and he wants to keep doing it. He could become a YouTube superstar!

I think he thought I was crazy. “What do I have to blog about?” he asked.

Well, he presented himself as an experienced television reporter. Why not talk about broadcasting? Or, he seemed to me to be a professional job-seeker, so how about creating some sort of resource or guide for other people looking for jobs?

And as I made these recommendations and he just shook his head, I realized I should probably start following my own advice. And what better way to start a blog than to ask who should be blogging?

So, what do you think? Who should be blogging?