« Groundhog Day - The End? | Main | New blogger in town »

21 August 2008


Casey Cole

Great stuff Phil. I'm also unsure about how honest to be on the blog sometimes. I think it's different for a consultant as opposed to a journalist. A consultant or engineer is often expected to have the answers, while a journalist's job is more akin to an investigator. So sometimes it feels like a lose-lose: either you know something really valuable (in which case my boss would probably prefer that I save it for clients) or I don't know the answer in which case I should probably keep quiet. In practice, I end up giving good stuff away and occasionally looking foolish. Clearly I'm not heeding my own advice but I do think about it quite a bit.

Mark Brinkley

It's an interesting question, Phil. Principally I write from the journalist camp but blogging allows me to vent my spleen in ways print journalism never would. It's also a great discipline to write stuff that's a little bit interesting but hardly constitutes a whole article. In comparison, print is very restrictive as it has to "fit" somehwere. So as a writer, I find the format very liberating.

mel starrs

I'm always up for navel gazing, and having recently been asked to come up with blogging policies, is something at the front of my mind. I agree with Casey - and in a way I found it a lot easier to write when I wasn't working for someone (i.e. May 07- May08 - my posts are rather more opinionated than recently - or maybe not? Just my perception)

So honesty vs. competitive advantage is always a balance. However, it's not information per se that is power - it's how you use it that gains competitive advantage. I may blog a document's release, but I won't give away what I'm specifically doing with it. There's a difference between information and knowledge and application.

Small audience numbers are a misnomer in blogging. I may average a certain readership via google but actual posts may 'peak' and this is usually not time specific - case studies are timeless and always have traffic, months or years after the original post.

How often is a question of how busy you are. When I am bust with computer work, I blog more (procrastination, anyone?). When my social life takes over, less blogging. I find delicious a good interim measure.

As for the cult of personality, I prefer blogs with one author. When you have many (i.e. Treehugger) you aren't in blog territory anymore - they are aggregators and more useful to dip into than read every post. I find twitter best to scan the headlines there - they act as a filter.

Phew - way too much navel gazing and somethign I've obviously spent too much time thinking about...


I only just about have time to read blogs let alone write one (at least one that would make any kind of sense).

I do have a couple I check out on a reasonably regular basis though (including this on), and they provide some useful titbits and food for thought, and also to check for references to the organisations I work for. So keep up the good work and keep blogging!

I like the free form flow and chance to respond (if I so wish, although usually I am a wallflower). You just don't get this with the printed format.

I agree the quality rather than quantity is important (no reflection of this post!!). On a related note to that, and an idea that has just struck me, perhaps this quality debate could be harnessed to create, develop and maintain open source tools, processes, standards etc to address sustainability (a bit like the concept of open source software).

Perhaps this is just a mad idea, so feel free to shoot me down in flames if you will, but for example how about an open source green building rating tool owned by its users, which avoids the frustrations of those commercially available today?

Phil Clark

Wow, bit blown away by all the responses. Agree with most of what has been said, and interested to hear Mel's views on numbers of authors.
There is definitely that free rein one has with a blog, and the ability to ask questions can make it very satisfying.
Andrew's point is definitely something to ponder. Using the web to collaborate and create something genuinely useful is a really exciting one. WIKIEEAM anyone?


Regular blogging is important - or rather, a regular frequency of posting.

Easier said than done, I know, but if I'm time-crunched, I pay more attention to blogs I am familiar with and "de-prioritise" those I'm not - frequency builds familiarity.

Eventually, I will probably remove infrequent bloggers during my periodic spring cleans unless they contribute something unique and interesting.

Frequency is an important consideration when deciding to blog. It takes commitment and should not be undertaken without it, IMO - stale blogs are almost as bad as blogs spitting-out regurgitated press releases.

Companies that treat blogs as a sales channel for their company are a turn-off too. Maintaining a readership is far more effective - only competitors subscribe to "blogverts".

It's not easy committing to a blog but there are undoubtedly rewards.

The comments to this entry are closed.