Lee's 'Better Communication Results' blog

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Friday, July 29, 2005

One size fits all - off the planet and out of touch

It's been nearly a fortnight since I last set foot in the blogosphere. What's happened in the meantime - anything I should have worried about?

1/26th of a year is a long time for the blogosphere: 14 days, 336 hours, 20160 minutes, 1209600 seconds…

Did I really miss anything by not being plugged in, anything that couldn't be collected from my aggregator once I eventually got it working?

Well, nothing life-threatening, no.

  • The mainstream national media kept me informed on more London bombings
  • Land Rover's PR team 'enjoyed' the transformation of a client from a rabid fanatic to a rabid antagonist, their own silly fault and something for which there is ample historical blogospherical (?) precedent (as an aside, perhaps we should run some contests to see how ludicrous and self-referential we can become via syllogisms based on the word 'blogosphere')
  • I missed producing two reports for FIR
  • I missed producing two of my own podcasts
  • …err

Well, not a lot else. Perhaps my wife was right all along about how comparatively unimportant the blogosphere in particular and the internet in general are.

Sure, there was hot air a-plenty, much discussion and disagreement between folks (which is to be welcomed -- as Tom Peters says, you WANT creative types to vehemently disagree), but did the world fall apart because I wasn't plugged in?

No.

Robert Scoble may have considered me dead, but I was just enjoying a holiday (partly planned, partly dictated by a failed hard drive).

The very nice Seth Godin sent me an ebook he'd written which I had previously read, but had lost in a previous hard drive failure (history definitely repeats for me, I just sometimes don't learn from it) and so was very grateful to read again.

I got a couple of nice emails from online friends offering me condolences over my hard drive and a peaceful holiday. That was unexpected and very nice (especially since it turned out that one of the readers of my blog was someone more important than me -- but then isn't everyone, really?).

But perhaps one of my clients is right -- the wheels won't fall off the pram just because they aren't blogging corporately yet. Their only real risk from not blogging is not having a tactic in place for dealing with criticism/death-by-blogging; but apart from that there is, I suggest, no life and death need for them to commence blogging other than to simply build up competency before it becomes a marketing necessity, like having a website once was.

And has it has not been proven that companies who were early adopters of websites back in the mid 90s cashed-in to a massive extent just because of their website. In 1995 I built my first website (for a business I part-owned at the time) - I'm still working for a living.

Blogs are great at showing one's thought leadership (owning an intelligent blog immediately differentiates we business communicators from the other 99% of our colleagues) and for making ideological connections that span geographic divides. But apart from a very few exceptions, blogging and its nascent sister podcasting have yet to prove their economic worth as either promotional or knowledge management tools outside of our own fraternity. I blog and podcast precisely because I love to do so, not for financial gain (although I'm not turning down any clients who come via those routes).

And my desire to blog frustrates the blazes out of my wife, who'd rather I not bring my noisy notebook to bed with us.

Sure, blogging is important, but let's get some perspective here. The advent of blogging technology is as important as the advent of www technology, but the technology is still very young and with plenty of room for improvement (I detest the loops I have to go through to trackback to someone's post, for example).

No one died from not having a website; there are still plenty more businesses around today that don't have websites than businesses that do and bizarrely they are surviving. Perhaps my nearly-14 days of being unplugged is a useful reminder to me that life is very long, one size does not fit all and there is still much to learn.

Or is anything less than evangelical enthusiasm infra dig?