Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Better Blogging by Chemistry

Elliott Ng, a friend, ex-colleague and fellow blogger, has put an interesting commentary on Top 10 tips from (to) a novice blogger posted by Avinash Kaushik.

My take on it is that a blog's success depends on how effective it is in starting conversations -- which means you either get comments like this, or someone links your post on their blog expanding on the topic -- or simply email the link around with some comments.

Why would someone do that?

Well, only if they actually care about what you write about. And caring is more of an emotional response rather than intellectual one. Scoble, Doc Searls, et al really stress on "having a voice", which happens when you combine passion and get awawy from corporate-speak, IMHO.

Scoble's point on being easy to find is also important -- but instead of going the SEO route, it is more important to find interesting conversations in the blogosphere and participate. If you are an active participator with a unique and compelling voice, the search engines are bound to pick you up.

Personally, I found it helpful to write a post outlining my reasons for blogging -- and to the rest of the bloggers out there, novice and experts alike, I'd love to lob the question -- what have you found to be most effective at starting conversations? Was it different than what you'd initially expected?

4 comments:

elliott said...

Sandeep,
Totally agree with your post. Its nice to focus on authenticity, passion, etc. without being too business minded about it....but...I can't help it! OK, here's an earlier post I made to a great post by Matt Cutts (of Google search spam busting fame).

http://netglobalvalue.blogspot.com/2006/08/great-matt-cutts-seo-example.html

So question is: is it Chemistry? Or Physics? Or both? Or maybe there is room for both Digg and Techmeme...

Avinash Kaushik said...

Sandeep:

> What have you found to be most effective at starting conversations?

Two things, I think:

1) Putting out a unique differentiated value add point of view. Sure lots of buzz words in there but to start a conversation you have to have something unique to say. With 55 million blogs, 6 million updated each day there is intense competition out there, and yet there is a place for each unique voice.

2) Participating. It sounds counter to the idea of "starting" but participating in conversation, with others or in the ecosystem is a great way to start a conversation.

> Was it different than what you'd initially expected?

For me personally it was surprising as to how effective #2 above was.

Thanks for putting forth your perspective.

Avinash.
Occam's Razor @ www.kaushik.net/avinash

Sandeep Giri said...

Thanks both Elliott and Avinash for your feedback.

To Elliott's point re "business minded on blogs" I never quite thought about blog as a business mode. Doesn't blog serve you best more as a marketing channel as opposed to being a business itself? I doubt that (generally) you will be able to generate traffic (er, conversations), etc. in a short amount of time. As Avinash also pointed out, it takes time.

Also, it's been said that it's not how many people read your blog, but more about how many right people read your blog. People connect with you because of the relevant of your content to their life/business and as such, it can open doors to fruitful partnership and collaboration, either personal or business or both.

Think about it this way -- if you keep posting your unique voice on China-oriented business models, etc. -- and the Lord of Chinese Business World somehow happens to stumble upon your post -- which then results into a coversation, and then a business meeting, and then perhaps a big business deal -- then, a readership of one is well worth the time/effort to keep blogging. :-)

My point is -- I find it hard to justify blogging alone as a business model, and use time/effort vs payback as the criteria to whether start (or spend a lot of time on) a blog or not. It's mainly an additional, yet very effective, channel to present your voice to the market.

So -- I'd say, keep blogging as happily as you send emails, get involved in as many conversations in your space as possible, and also work all possible SEO tricks to be found more easily. And keep hoping at least one of the Lord(s) of Chinese Business will find you eventually.

HiPath 3000 said...

A blog, like a website, works best when it addresses its audience directly. If it reads like a monologue it will most probably fail.