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Easing the Responsibility of Blogging

You’re interested in sharing your insights into communications challenges and issues with the world. That’s a great start. But are you really ready to take on the responsibility a weblog brings? Because it isn’t one you should take on lightly. Writing a successful weblog is a time-consuming affair …

This initial welcoming and warning is from the "Join" page of the Hill & Knowlton Collective Conversation blogging community site, a well orchestrated effort to encourage and assist H&K employees to start their own blogs.  While I love the way that Niall and his team have launched this effort (and survey) to help people assess their own blog-worthiness … it does highlight a major stumbling block in recruiting internal team members to become bloggers.  People are afraid of the time committment and unsure that they will have something valuable to say.  But as blogs become a more significant source of external promotion (and even new business leads) for agencies and companies alike — it is more important than ever to get more visibility for your organization through blogs.

One idea for how to get around these initial hesitations for people to become bloggers is the recent Sponit launch, which offers an example of another extremely compelling site based around the idea of curiosity, where individuals can create blog-like posts as single soundbites.  The site has already collected posts including tips on how to hack Google’s Book search to get the full text of books, reflections on leftover pizza and even new corporate logos for Dodge and Gap.  The site takes the concept of blogging, and focuses it on individual ideas from people who may or may not have their own blog. The site explains it as "you can make one post and be the most popular poster on Sponit.  Spons are snapshots of life."

I love this idea, and it is very similar to the strategy for the Ogilvy group blog that we will soon be launching.  To date in the industry, I have there have emerged two main types of blogs – the individual "star" bloggers (such as Steve Rubel and Kevin Dugan), and the group "best minds" blogs (such as Blogworks and Tech PR Gems).  I am a great admirer and reader of all these blogs.  But what if we could create a blog with all the best thoughts of Ogilvy people, and allow many of them to post these thoughts without making a deep commitment to be bloggers?  This compilation of thoughts could become our greatest repository of knowledge and insight across our global network.  A blog to share our best ideas with clients and colleagues.  Our website already has Expert Views – but the blog will have expert thoughts, from every level of our team – updated frequently with a global view.  That’s the kind of agency blog I’m looking forward to reading.   

NOTE: The Ogilvy Blog is planned for release in January 2006.

3 thoughts on “Easing the Responsibility of Blogging”

  1. Rohit, I think that’s right. We wanted to get our people to think hard about whether they were ready for the responsibility, before they actually took it on. If we hadn’t, we’d have a Collective Graveyard rather than a conversation.

    I look forward to reading the Ogilvy blog.

  2. I’ve found in my journey regarding business blogging that the best bloggers ‘self-select’ as they are already vocal, online, passsionate, and want to reach out to customers.

    I find it best to let them ‘standup’ and volunteer, rather than be selected in a ‘draft’

    I’ve got some other tips regarding this that I’ve found from my journey’s here:

    Love to hear your thoughts on this

  3. Jeremiah, thanks for commenting. You are right that the “draft” approach will rarely work – but in my experience working on our internal effort, the main initial difficulty has been getting people past the fear that they will not be able to make the time to contribute. For them, the safety of a group blog is the ideal way to find their unique voice. I would equate it with the phenomenon of being a backup quarterback before taking over the starting role. The experience of being a smaller part of a team can come in useful for building the confidence to branch out on your own.


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Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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