Open mic night is always a little frantic – it’s hard to believe that in the six plus months I’ve been participating in #blogchat’s monthly free for all, it’s ramped up in intensity pretty regularly.
Thankfully, some regular troopers like Margie Clayman and Prosperity Gal decided to lead the charge and get the festivities going early. It made for some good headspace before the chat opened officially.
When I keyed in, the chat was already full of advice for dealing with the full force of the conversation. Here are my tips;
- I have TweetDeck for PC open all the time anyway – I use a #blogchat search column, and my reply column to monitor the chat and participate whenever I can. I always give precedence to replies.
- I also have a browser window open – either Firefox or Chrome (more often lately it’s Chrome) with an open WordPress draft for notes.
- I try to find images beforehand if possible, to save on the back end of producing my Notes From posts.
- I tile the windows, so I can see the conversation going as I make notes.
And that’s it. Tweetchats – any online event coverage – is difficult from a one-screened device (just wait until I can justify a two-screen desktop, instead of just a laptop) but efficiency is one of the keys to making sure everything runs smoothly. That, and not worrying over typos.
Of course, efficiency doesn’t mean catching everything.
Here’s what happened on my end of the night’s festivities.
@SbuxMel asked if it were stuck up to have a Facebook page for your blog – a great question. Personally, I think providing people with alternative connection points is a good idea, assuming you’re clear about your intent there. If I were setting a page up for this site, it’d be really clear that it were only an alternative to RSS subscription, to make connecting easier.Not everyone Likes pages, just like not everyone subscribes by RSS – or even by email.
@HeidiCohen brought up an interesting statistic – apparently 74,583 new blogs are made every day. That’s a lot of ham sandwiches and lolcats, people. Lots.
There was a lot of back and forth, as usual, about the best ways to blog – writing series, guest blogging and so on. How to find topics, whether monetizing a blog is wrong – all good questions, many of which were previously covered.
@BillBoorman did make a good distrinction though – if you’re looking to monetize a blog, how you go about things depends on whether you want to make money because you blog, or make money from the blog itself. It’s nuance, but it’s important. You can split the difference and do both – but that takes a lot more effort and time, to make sure you’re not crossing anyone’s acceptable lines.
Bill also asked how one measures the success of a blog – I want to see this as a full night’s #blogchat topic. There are so many possible ways to measure success – it’s complicated, and personal. And important. Success at any task is a good thing – but first you have to know what to call success.
Mack made a comment about content reflecting a blogger’s unique expertise – I couldn’t agree more. With so many thought leaders out there, the UVP is getting more important and harder to define at once.
One more important note – echoed by a number of people was the wish for more comments. How do we encourage people to join a conversation? Start one! @KyleMcShane and @MargieClayman both cropped appropriate comments seconds apart about responding to comments and keeping the conversation lines open. This couldn’t be more true. Making sure you’re not writing in the declarative unless you expect no comments, or are discouraging comments on a given blog post is one of the black belt secrets not enough people practice.
Anyone can make a statement. But can you learn to ask questions?
@MatthewLiberty mentioned that some people spend more time reading and researching than blogging – his advice is that (as Seth Godin says) you have to ship it. I agree. If you have a blog and you’re not blogging, you’re not a blogger.
Blogging is about more than just making entries. Developing thought over time, consideration for your readers, even a vague attempt at growing a community – it takes a long time for some people to get themselves into a position of rhythmic value creation that actually inspires connection. This is why conversation is so important – developing the “two way street of engagement” (as @thekimschneider says” is all-important.
Conversation moved on to Kout scores, Twitter Grader, Website Grader and so on – the unanimous word from many experienced bloggers was that metrics aren’t important, that writing with ever-increasing passion and quality are. I agree and disagree – but we’ll get into that later on.
Margie Clayman asked about premium blog themes – on which I’ll be speaking later, actually. For those returning, I re-launched my site on Standard Theme yesterday morning. To put it simply; even being acclimated to WordPress development and having built my last five themes from scratch, Standard was a better experience all around. But this is not a shill.
I’m seriously enjoying @MatthewLiberty’s stream – go follow him if you’re not already. He made mention of the difference between planning and research and that was it. New favourite voice of reason.
Also, as usual a font of wisdom, @tc_geeks suggested that, for those of us who have an email subscription option, writing a blog post thanking people for subscribing via email will be particularly apropos. Email subscribers will see it in their inbox, and everyone else will be reminded they could be subscribing by email Truly, another black belt blogger manoeuvrer. Bravo.
And then it was 9pm!
As usual, so much insight. I’ll make a transcript available as soon as What The Hashtag lets me get one ready or someone shares one.
What have you got to add? The theme seemed to be quality content, quality site, and quality conversation – how can we advance any of these things?
Photo by Geir Yngve Tro.