About ten years ago, a new way of communication emerged that allowed individuals to send messages to one another instantaneously, and if you had any regrets, you could recall that same message successfully without any apology necessary.
What emerged from e-mail were some guidelines regarding its usage and its content; employees who normally exchanged kind phone conversations were found sending scathing responses to fellow coworkers as a result of capitalized red fonts!
While e-mail proved to be a useful business communication tool, the temperament of an employee misinterpreting a sent message was more common than most would imagine. For example, capitalization meant “screaming” where the color red meant “immediacy or anger”.
So let’s fast forward a few years; a new form of communication emerges known as blogging. Most blogs are personal in nature and designed to promote communication and interaction, they are fresh and fast, and normally written in a casual lighthearted tone that promotes smooth conversation.
The fact that the writer has a point of view and the information is much more fun and useful than the traditional corporate website is certainly inviting. The voice of blogs tends to be more human in nature, not a marketing speaker’s voice. The composer has a point of view and the information is much more informative and intriguing, absent from industry jargon and easily understood by the most common reader.
Sound pretty safe so far? Think again. Blogging has the potential to hurt fellow coworkers. Numerous cases have started appearing in the news in which bloggers find themselves answering to others for blog posts written on their own time; to be specific, those posts are about their jobs, company and/or coworkers.
If you’re sailing along the editorial mindset and decide to post your latest opinions on how you REALLY feel about your company and/or boss, keep in mind that your blog may reach the individual cited in your blog whether it be your cubicle mate or supervisor/boss. And in the morning, be ready to defend your position or suffer the consequences. Think about it, did you really want your fellow coworker to know that you think he has the brain of a six-year old orangutan.
Something that most people do not know about blogging is that it can also prevent someone from being hired. A job candidate’s blog is easily accessible and readable via any computer with a connection. A blog may appear as a harmless outlet but its content is widely available to those who choose to search, so make sure it is an accurate reflection of you.
Personally, writing a blog once a month ignites a splash of anticipation in me because it allows me an opportunity to share a topic or exchange views with another in a more whimsical sense.
The best way to learn about blogging is to seek out and read blogs that peak your interests. Start with the search engines, read the posts, follow the links and comment on what you see. It’s a great avenue to share your knowledge, get noticed by your peers and increase your own knowledge.
There is one key element to remember though, your blog reflects you and its information is not delivered to only a selected user group; it is disseminated world wide. Readers instantly learn about the blogger and about the people who post comments on his or her blog. Blogging can be purposeful and useful but a few poor sports could ruin the quality of the virtual conversation.
The number of blogs is growing by leaps and bounds. In September 2004, 4 million blogs were on the Internet; a year later, that number jumped to 17 million, according to Technorati, a search engine for blogs. Eight percent of internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog. 39 percent of internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs – a significant increase since the fall of 2005.
Hopefully, I’ve peaked your interest. So don’t wait, find your favorite subject and blog aboard. But don’t be surprised if you’re not alone.