How Do You “Try” Blogging?

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I was talking to a colleague at “Tucows”:http://www.tucows.com/ and we hit on something I’d experienced before, but hadn’t quite formalized into a structured idea.
The issue at hand was “what is the proper way to ‘test’ a new blogging platform – or blogging in general for that matter?”
To me the biggest benefit of having a blog is not “publishing a personal diary” but “sharing thoughts with the world”. The impact of blogging on your ability to share with others only happens if others can in fact share – otherwise you are just talking to yourself.
And therein lies the problem.
If you are “just testing” blogging, or a new platform like “vox”:http://kenschafer.vox.com/, you don’t really want to tell people it’s only a test and that you might not keep it going.
In a nutshell, *without committing to blogging it is very hard to get the benefits of blogging.* My guess is the blogosphere is strewn with “hello world”:http://technorati.com/search/%22hello%20world%22?language=en&authority=n blog posts that are the first and last post because it is impossible to see the benefit of post number two.


This is a bigger problem than it might seem. Many new businesses depend on social networking models and those almost by definition mean *they only work once you are in fact social.*
If we can’t push visitors past the “just looking around” stage how will we get them to see the value? Think about all the people you’ve told about “LinkedIn”:http://www.linkedin.com/ who only added one contact and stopped not realizing that the darn thing only makes sense after you have a few people with good networks in your network. How many “Flickr accounts”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenschafer/ are abandoned after people realize they have no one to share their snapshots with? How’s your Web 2.0 social dream site going to get over the “just looking/I don’t get it” hurdle?

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2 thoughts on “How Do You “Try” Blogging?

  1. MacLennan Sara

    A couple of years ago I took a course from the Canadian Marketing Association taught by Ken Schafer. At the time he kept telling us how blogging was the next big thing and very important for all of us to adopt. I have to admit at the time I didn’t really get it, I mean it’s just another online discussion forum isn’t it?

    Needless to say I decided to start up a blog last year when I moved out to Alberta and started consulting for real estate companies and running the marketing for a company in Edmonton. Well, the broker didn’t really get it but said “whatever, you’re the expert, go ahead”. The point of all this is that I’d like to say to Ken: “You were right!” Our blog is bringing in a huge amount of traffic to our company site, and as a result a huge amount of business to our company. So… thanks Ken. If you want to check it out it’s at http://edmonton-homes.typepad.com, I just moved it over from Blogger yesterday so don’t be too hard on me…still have lots of work to do on it.

  2. Ross

    Blogging, like charity, has to start at home.
    One must go into the exercise firmly comfortable with the fact that no one but themself will ever read, see or interact with their shiny new blog.
    Almost by definition, the blog must be an expression of one’s self, for one’s self. Any other approach will almost always come across as dishonest, unauthentic or cheap.
    Of course, if the odd reader does happen to come by, now that’s a happy bonus.
    -r

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