Pretty unexpectedly I ended up doing a session on blogging at #KM4Dev workshop. It was part of the social reporting afternoon and was supposed to provide the participants with opportunities to get hands-on experiences with various tools and actually do social reporting of the group work done beforehand.
It didn’t really work that way: we drifted away from blogging as social reporting tool (I’m not surprised, but that’s a topic for another post) and couldn’t practice as some other groups since wifi didn’t want to collaborate. But we had great discussions on how to make blogging work and the potentials of blogging as a KM tool. I was also very happy that Nadejda Loumbeva joined part of the session and shared her blogging experiences, telling most of the things that I’d have to tell otherwise :)
Issues we have discussed (the discussions were pretty unstructured, this is my summary of it :)
- Advantages and disadvantages from personal and organisational perspectives, social reporting with a blog
- How-tos: how to find others, to become visible, to blog on multiple languages, to find time and motivation to sustain blogging over time
- Tech: platforms, possibilities that blog software provides, linking with other tools
Ideally I’d write a few coherent stories to address these issues, but it would take too long, so I’ll just drop some notes and links here. I’m likely to add links in next few days and I do plan to write proper blogposts on sustainable blogging and blogging in a context of social reporting somewhere soon.
As an introduction – parts from my PhD research that say most of what I was talking about in a condensed format:
- PhD conclusions in a thousand words: blogging practices of knowledge workers
- What pragmatists might want to know about blogging
- Facilitating adoption of weblogs in knowledge-intensive environments.
See also: page on blogs at KM4Dev wiki.
Why blogging? Blogs support visible individual trajectories
- blogs make personal expertise visible – it helps with finding relevant others and relation building
- blogs are individual rather than topic centered – they provide opportunities to cross topical boundaries and find unexpected ideas and people
- blogs make the process visible, so others can learn from it and can comment on work/thinking-in-progress
Ecosystem and visibility
- most of the effects of blogging that people are talking about come from being part of a blogging ecosystem – relations between you and other bloggers and links between your weblog and other weblogs
- relations grow with time, attention and interactions
- linking to other weblogs (ideally to specific posts) is extremely important
- how do you get there?
- find a couple of blogs (e.g. via blogsearch.google.com) and start reading them; follow links and you will discover more
- comment! make sure comments are meaningful and leave link to your weblog
- write good stuff
- monitor who links to your blog (if your blog software doesn’t do it take this example and put your blog address after link: + subscribing to the results via newsreader makes life easier) and continue the conversation
- connect your weblog to other tools (add link to email signature and social network profiles, add notifications about new blog posts on Twitter, etc.)