It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for seven years now. When I was first encouraged by colleagues and started to blog I didn’t think I would have enough to say (that I would feel was really worth saying) on a regular basis. I made a decision not to feel like I had to do a post on any kind of regular schedule, but over the years, just from my work and observing the larger “change” arena, ideas that feel like they are worth sharing have seemed to come at least quarterly.
What have I learned or observed?
- Frequency can vary – A lot of the advice on blogging encourages one to blog on a regular basis. As I noted above, it’s a little of what turned me off on the idea originally. But setting my own pace and not feeling that I had to force a schedule has worked well for me.
- Establishing personal measures of “success” – When I did my one year review, visitors were coming from over 30 countries. It’s now over 155 so I’ve reached the global audience I hoped to. But we all know that numbers aren’t everything. I have read some articles that note with the proliferation of blogs and blog platforms (Medium, LinkedIn, etc..) over the past few years (and the increase in spam), that there is less discussion in blog comments than there was 5-7 years ago but more sharing on social media platforms (which is a pattern I have also seen on my blog). But despite fewer comments or discussion at the blog, I do get personal notes from people who have said that the posts have been useful to them in their work. More than just discussion, that knowledge that some of my posts can actually be turned into ‘practical action’ is very satisfying, and feels like an important measure of success.
- Assessing ‘popularity’ of posts – Is there a pattern to which posts have been clicked on or shared the most? The posts that seem to be the most popular are 1) Those that try to provide practical advice and other useful links such as Six Tips for Communicating in a Global World or What’s the Recipe; 2) Connect to a conference or a timely topic such as Global Health Trends- 2017 edition, and Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a Global Gateway and 3) The most popular of all may just demonstrate how much we are all looking for inspiration :) What Makes Someone Inspirational?
- “Going Global” – When I wrote my first book years ago the publisher wanted to title it “Going Global for Good”. I asked them to add ‘greater’ and make it “Going Global for the Greater Good” as part of the point of ‘going global’ in strategic ways is that it’s not for all organizations and it may not always be a good use of resources to stay strongly engaged (the other meaning of going for good – you don’t come back!) if it doesn’t align with your strategies and goals. I would still feel this way about the book title :) but over the years with the increase in virtual and social media engagement, I do think the concept of global engagement has changed a bit. Once one is engaged either individually or organizationally in a virtual community with others around the world, one tends to stay engaged globally. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that to truly be of value to a global audience, one needs to intentionally create and maintain a global focus and style.
For all of you fellow bloggers out there, what have you observed?