April 17, 2003

My Personal Weblog Policy

We don't have a formal corporate weblog policy at Cape Clear, but I do follow some personal guidelines for my own weblog:
  1. Be interested in what you write
    I post on things that interest me, which provides an end in itself.
    Anything else that happens from the posting is a bonus.
  2. Post regularly
    I try to post at least one item per work day, although sometimes this is not always possible due to other work commitments. And of course sometimes (like today) I get all excited and post several items! It probably averages out about one-per-day though.
    It is very important to keep a steady flow of new postings, otherwise readers will not come back for more - that's always been the first rule of Internet content.
    Also, topical discussions don't stay hot for too long, so you have a limited timeframe to pitch in your comments and be an active part of any discussion.
  3. Don't post too quickly
    I am convinced there is actually a limit to how much information a community can absorb and digest at any one time, so too much information being released in a short space of time means part or all of those messages will get lost.
    This is partly to do with signal-to-noise ratio, but mostly to do with volume and information overload I think.
    This problem is one reason why weblog search facilities will become increasingly important as the blogspace develops, and I suspect is one reason why Google bought Blogger.com.
  4. Balance the whole person
    I try to balance my postings by occasionally sprinkling in some non-technical or human interest items to provide a more rounded picture of the whole me.
    Some recent examples were mentions of some Victor Borge comedy sketches, Internet Radio, and the Opera browser's "Bork" release.
  5. No politics
    I try not to talk about real-world politics at all, as I think those beliefs are purely personal.
    I dislike reading about other people's political beliefs in their weblogs, so I don't try to foist my own opinions on politics onto others.
    Nobody will ever change their political beliefs by reading a weblog, so why bother?
  6. No personal info
    I don't talk about my family or private life too much, as I don't think that is for public consumption.
  7. Quotability
    I don't make any effort to be easily quotable, but I probably should!
  8. Spell checking
    Always use a spellchecker! I do try, but there isn't an automated spellchecker built in to Moveable Type (yet), so a few slip through sometimes.

I tend to agree with most of the general guidelines in "The Corporate Weblog Manifesto" by Robert Scoble, although I don't completely agree with all his point [like number 18, for example]

Entry categories: Weblog
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at April 17, 2003 12:15 PM - [PermaLink]
Traceback List
PR Notes / PR Opinions
Excerpt: Corporate Blogging Guidelines...
Weblog: The Mediaburn Radio Weblog
Tracked: May 18, 2004 06:12 AM
Employee blogging needs some good old common sense
Excerpt: Everywhere I turn online these days I seem to read yet another story about someone who has been fired for blogging, or more accurately they have been fired for something they have written about their employer in their blog.
Weblog: PR Opinions
Tracked: February 11, 2005 12:09 AM
Corporate Blogging Policy
Excerpt: The news that Microsoft is formally trying to get it's arms around blogging both in terms of the implications and the opportunities, has spawned some interesting discussion.
Weblog: PR Opinions
Tracked: June 28, 2005 05:06 AM
But, if you want to be an authority on something, you need to point to everything. The more you point, the more authoritative you get. It's a hard thing to do sometimes, I know. Posted by: Robert Scoble on April 18, 2003 05:55 AM
FYI, I held forth on this posting at http://www.darrenbarefoot.com/2003/04/19.html#a205. Cheers. DB. Posted by: Darren Barefoot on April 20, 2003 06:04 AM
Hi Darren, I take your point - all weblogs are opinion anyway, so why not include my political opinions as well as my technical opinions too? At the end of the day, I think it's mostly about a personal preference for a certain level of perceived signal-to-noise ratio - I try to keep my weblog fairly focused on technical matters, with only occasional digressions into the "whole me". I know I have personally stopped reading some weblogs in the past when they start including too many things that I am not really interested in, and I have seen this same sentiment expressed elsewhere about weblogs too. This is obviously to do with the process of establishing and maintaining a close-enough match between the interests of the reader and the topics covered by the weblog so that postings are considered "worth reading". As you point out, "If readers don't like [certain types of topics in a weblog], or the frequency with which you express them, then they can look elsewhere." I actually think Chris Anderson gets close to this same question but from a different angle in his posting about "What is a weblog?" - we still don't predictably know what makes a particular weblog "appealing" and readable to a certain audience, and others less so. Now THAT is the answer that the Marketing Communicators and Technical Evengelists of the world will be very interested in hearing, whenever someone works out the real answer! Personally I don't think I have ever been persuaded to change my politics by reading _anything_ - just had my previous opinions reinforced through what in reality would no doubt best be described as "selective listening". Posted by: Jorgen Thelin on April 20, 2003 12:38 PM