"Happy Birthday" Community Group Therapy…

March 10, 2007 at 1:14 pm 7 comments

Ok, I promise, no Birthday every month, but today does mark the 1 month “anniversary” of launching this Blog with my launch post.   So, how has it gone?  When I started I was committed, but still apprehensive about whether or not I would continue to have things I want to talk about on a regular basis…but so far, it seems I suffer more from too much I want to talk about.   As the month has turned, I have wondered how I should judge success of this blog?  I considered asking others how they evaluate success of their blogging activity (maybe some good ideas will get posted back here).  Ultimately, I decided it’s a silly question.  In the end, I blog largely for myself – a personal outlet allowing me (forcing me) to put what I’m thinking to “paper.”  It’s an amazingly clarifying process – therapeutic even:)

In traditional “web metric” terms, I don’t know what to think.  Here are a few factoids…

In the end, to lift from Mastercard, what has been priceless is new connections I’ve made with like-minded people that I never knew 60 days ago.  As is typical in any community endeavor, you learn most from the people around you.  So, thanks to all of you reading, thanks to those who have posted comments here, thanks to those who have emailed me, thanks to those who have linked to me.  It’s been a pleasure!! 

Sean

ADDED LATER:

Mukund from Best Engaging asked me a couple of questions about this post I’ll elevate: 

1. Tell us what you learned. What worked, what did not?
2. How did you get 34 blogger’s to link to you and what are the best things that ensure you get blog linked?
3. If you started a new blog today, what would the top 3 things you do.

Thanks for the questions…let me see if I can add some answers.

Answers to 1):  Tell us what you learned.  What worked, what did not?
Learned: I’ve learned I have more to say than I thought.  I’ve learned that writing is a forcing function for thinking.  I’ve learned there is more to learn outside my normal circle than inside. I’ve learned there are lots of interesting people thinking about the same topic.  Per an upcoming post, I’ve also re-learned the value of built-in curiosity.  And I guess I’ve learned the perceived pressure of an unstated publishing schedule – a drive to keep up.
What worked – Follow discussions and see where they lead from site to site to site – keep unwrapping discussions across different blogger’s and when it strikes you, comment there (and include your URL). No surprise here, but see who people you follow, follow.  Schedule time to “research” – my subscribed feeds are now a serious source of weekly research – not a burden. 
What didn’t work – I’m not sure I know yet?? 🙂  Give me a little more time to determine what “worked” means to me.

Answers to 2):  How did you get 34 blogger’s to link to you and what are the best things that ensure you get blog linked?    I did spend some time thinking about this.  At this point, I don’t know how to assess this.  Is 34 good or bad after a month?  How important is it to me?  I hope the answer is by writing content that people are interested in.  That would be the dream that would make me feel the best about what I’ve done.  I don’t know if it’s true or not!!  I think the most important thing to do is somewhat obvious – go get in engaged.  Link to others saying interesting things – ask yourself if you are a blogger: have you updated your blogroll lately?  Comment on others blogs (that’s how I found you:)).  This to me is key.  Go thank people for linking to you – common courtesy (Technorati helps me locate).  Track your disparate conversations (cocomment helps with that).  Like anything, you get out what you put in.  I guess that is it so far. 

Answer to 3): If you started a new blog today, what are the top 3 things you’d do?  Number 1 is that I would look A LOT more before I leap.  I was inspired and rushed to launch – led me to MSN Spaces…then I switched.  That switch was mildly painful.  I’d look a lot more at what other blogger’s are doing that I like and what I could model after.  I would talk to more blogger’s to get their lessons learned.  I didn’t do these things, I dove in.  I think that is what most people do – as there is some story that is important to them they are compelled to tell and thinking through the “platform” feels like it will delay them.  Next, own your URL.  I don’t like the idea of sitting off in someone else’s “place.”  It’s one of the reasons I don’t blog on MSDN (which as a Microsoft employee I could and it would likely be a great way to get traffic).  For good or bad, what I write is a representation of “my brand.”  I want to be responsible for that all up.  #3, play.  Play A LOT!  Try new stuff, get experience.  Some will be good…some not…but play, play, play!!!

Sean

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Entry filed under: General Community Discussion.

Are you "Ning-ing"… Are you CURIOUS enough to be a Web 2.0 Leader??

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Frank Roche  |  March 10, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Congrats on one month…and here’s to many more. I’ve enjoyed being around at the beginning…very good material. Great read. Cheers!

    Reply
  • 2. Sean  |  March 10, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks Frank, have some “virtual cake”

    🙂

    sean

    Reply
  • 3. Mukund Mohan  |  March 10, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Sean
    Very very cool. I got the Wallop link BTW. When’s the BBQ? 🙂

    Thanks for taking the time to document the what 3 things you would do. That was very valuable.

    Mukund

    Reply
  • 4. Sean  |  March 10, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    let me know next time you are in seattle and I’ll bbq. I’m sure we can get Lee from Commoncraft to join us.

    sean

    Reply
  • 5. pittfall  |  March 10, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Congratulations Sean,
    I can totally relate to question 3… and I’m still working through it! But, it was definitely something that I would have even considered. Kind of like BBQ, you have to play around with it a little.

    Good luck and I will be watching for more!

    Reply
  • 6. Rex  |  March 10, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Sean,

    There are a ton of things that “work” and then as in my case, there were lucky moments such as the interview I was able to get with Ross Levinsohn before anyone else was able too (after he left FIM).

    Then there are happy/tragic events, such as the day I saw a feed about the Sean Hornbeck/Ben Owensby rescue by the FBI here, and figured if nothing else; it was local interest. I end up as the “top story” that evening on the local news (January 15th, KSDK Channel 5; NBC affliate).

    With all that being said, it helps to blog a lot, then sit back and see what worked, what didn’t, re-adjust and blog some more. repeat. rinse. repeat.

    Rex
    Criteo Tech Evangelist
    http://widget.criteo.com/

    Reply
  • 7. Sean  |  March 10, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks Rex, great to see you here and sharing both some history and some perspectives. Thanks for coming to the party.

    sean

    Reply

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