James Dellow has blog tagged me on the meme, How do I decide what to blog about?
I’m changing this a little to what blogging does for me.
Quite simply it’s ideas, thoughts and feedback related to the way we work.
I started off being a library and web 2.0 blogger, but since changing work roles I now blog more about KM, collaboration, community, conversation, learning, self-organisation, emergence, and slowly getting into complex adaptive systems. I still occasionally blog about new web 2.0 tools to fill in the gaps.
You will find my blogroll on my blog and if it wasn’t for these people, I really wouldn’t blog much…sure I have my own original ideas, but they are often riffing off other people. The more I read the more it triggers stuff in me, and I evolve my perspective on an idea into the communal pool.
The essence of it for me is that we now have
- tools other than email to do unstructured work, that is, we can use wikis, blogs, etc…for workarounds, exceptions to the rule. What was once in email silos and document silos is now open, transparent, and shareable. The actual practice of work is now documented, we communally share what process documents never know
- tools to mimic our offline behaviours of conversation and networking with people. The most exciting thing online is that this type of ecosystem evolves into perpetual learning, and self-organisation, etc…
The crucial step is using a bottom-up facilitation approach in introducing these tools into the enterprise, web 2.0 or not, a top-down management approach aint gonna work.
Blogs as self education
It’s amazing that blogs I read have turned into my perpetual education, and it’s practical education at that…I interact as part of my learning, I am immersed…I distill my thoughts where people interact back.
If I went back to university to study KM, I think I’d have more rebellion and argument in my essays, as a bottom-up framework of working and understanding human behaviour has largely been ignored.
Knowledge workers and the knowledge age doesn’t mean anything until we have the tools, approaches and ecosystems to bring this to light.
Plus I’m learning from practioners on ground zero, they apply methods and find what does and doesn’t work when mixed with human behaviour and the enterprise environment. Sure you can read journals, but reading blogs put you right there…throw out the text books and create your own.
It’s just become an extension of my learning, probably the best learning I have engaged in, because I don’t even realise I’m learning, or I’m not trying to learn, I’m just being passionate and engaged about something.
If you are interested in something and need to research for a year or so, start blogging and reading blogs, because you become immersed where it’s no longer learning, but just something you do. Plus you get a casual and informal feel for your research topic, and network with an army of people who help you research without actually being aware of it.
Blogging for memory management
I guess if I didn’t bookmark, and blog I would find it hard to find stuff to re-read, or remember stuff, and blogging something I read helps me understand it more…blogging is often a stream of consciousness.
Where else do I blog
Tumblr - I have a micro blog called Snippets, this is for quotes, book note taking and more raw thoughts
Twitter - This is for spontaneous what’s on my mind, questions, and conversation…this is network blogging, my posts are often directed at someone (like IM, email, telephone), which you don’t really do in a blog.
Check out Friendfeed for my lifestream.
Researching a post
A few people have asked about my internal blog at work how I am able to draw from great sources and churn out a topical blog post in no time.
My secret trick is that I’ve blogged most stuff already on this blog, but the real deal is that when I’m writing a post I consult 3 places
- I search my blog
- I search my bookmarks
- I search my RSS Reader
…and I may search my Twitter network or ask them a question
I seek in places I own, rather than just a googling hit and hope approach. Stuff (filtered through my network) passes my radar everyday, and I learn from it, I have this peripheral awareness, and when it comes to blogging about it I’m already half way there…
The Social Stack and Actionable Collective Intelligence
Passing on the meme
So let’s see who I can tag to pass it foward, perhaps some people I admire but have not yet networked with…
UPDATE: I think I just wrote a new “About” page for this blog
[ADDED 19/01/09: Jack Vinson - “I base some of the decision on what I think my audience might want to read. The stuff that brings me a lot of feedback definitely influences my future blogging decisions.”]
[ADDED 19/01/09: Andrew Gent - I blog — like many other people, I suspect — as a way of clarifying my own ideas. The physical activity of writing things down forces me to verify those thoughts. Some ideas that sound good bouncing loosely around in my head can seem perfectly stupid or unsupportable when written down.]
[ADDED 25/01/09: Sense-making: from blogging to research methodologies - weblogs as a sense-making instrument that provides a way to deal with unexpected or complex ideas by supporting articulation and organising ideas at a personal level combined with distributed collaborative thinking in “sense-making networks“…see more Blog networking study: an overview]