I have been blogging since January 2006 … I expect that if I had named my blog something to do with CEO Blogging then I might have gained a little more interest! Perhaps one of the lessons I would suggest for new bloggers is to name the blog appropriately, I sometimes get hits from people looking for information about eagles! The blog has been an interesting tool for me, I have perhaps 760 entries now and cover a range of subjects. I am able to pull up many entries about management, sales, the staffing industry, time management and general personal development. Overall the feedback has been positive and it has become one of our company’s marketing tools. If people are interested in starting a blog I tell them that they need to understand it is a long term commitment and then determine if the ROI is worth it. I have written blog entries about my rationale for blogging … maybe that will help anyone considering joining the huge community of bloggers.
I wrote my first blog about social networks a little more than two years ago, in April 2007. That entry was based upon my initial impressions of Facebook, which I had not long joined. I must say that my impressions have not changed a whole lot since then … it is a site that I view as a more personal way to connect to people, than a business tool and I have had some good experiences using Facebook. I was able to organize a family get together in Europe, communicating long distance primarily through this tool; I am much more connected to my family in the UK, get to see recent pictures much faster and share my own pictures relatively quickly. I get to enjoy the humour of friends and family as they comment about everyday life … and generally I am happy to be there. Perhaps my only reservations come in that “grey zone” of people who ask to be connected but are really not close friends, more business acquaintances. I am a little discerning about who I accept as a Facebook friend, but I don’t think that has cost me any relationships yet!
In July 2008 I wrote a blog entry about LinkedIn … and again, I don’t think my current impressions have changed much since that review. There have certainly been lots of articles recently about the power of Linkedin as a recruiting tool, although I have not used it for that purpose. I have found it to be a great way to stay/get connected to business people … whether it is industry colleagues, clients, past acquaintances or just people with similar interests. I have been instrumental in the setup of a few “Groups” … including an alumni group for Eagle which is an interesting way to keep in touch with ex-employees; plus an industry association group for ACSESS (staffing industry association Canada). Groups are a great way to share news that is of common interest. So the group feature and the ability to connect with like minded business people is powerful … so apparently is its recruiting capability.
April this year I blogged about Twitter … and still consider myself a relative “neophyte” to this phenomena. Again, not a whole lot has changed in my viewpoint but I will make the point that I am still a fan. In my opinion … which does not seem to be unanimous, there are different strategies for (1) posting tweats AND (2) for who to follow. Some (many) schools of thought suggest that you should follow everyone who follows you. I really don’t want to follow every small business that chooses to follow me … their “tweats” fill up my days and I really only want tweats that are of interest to me. Having identified some interesting people, and sources, I do enjoy the updates that come throughout the day and they are manageable enough that I don’t need to spend a ton of time on it. Twitter has also proven to be a good way to raise profile for my blog … as I have seen an increase in traffic since I have tweated.
The web 2.0 world is definitely here to stay, and changes the way business is done, the way we gather information and the way that we share it. Communication happens in nanoseconds and staying current, or keeping people up to date with your world becomes relatively easy.
There are obvious drawbacks and I think probably top of the list for me is the possibility that you could spend a LOT of time on social network sites, so it is important to understand what the value is for you … and to make the effort commensurate with the return.
Most of my Facebook time is done at home in off hours. I will get on LinkedIn perhaps every other day to check or contribute to the “groups” and perhaps once every few weeks I will give some consideration to who else I might connect with. On Twitter I will check it maybe 3 or 4 times a day, taking perhaps 5 minutes each time and I will also post an entry every time I blog and I blog most business days.
There are times when I find myself spending a little more time on the social network activities than I should, but generally I exercise pretty good time management. If you can do that, then these tools can be very useful!