Tonight, Ann Handley guest hosted #blogchat – so I’ll warn you right now, these notes will not be complete. Ann’s a prolific tweeter and a very engaged person, so I’m not surprised at all that the chat went swimmingly, and was very busy.
So, here’s a little background. Ann is Twitter’s front-person for Marketing Profs, a marketing resource concern. She writes her own blog at, of course, AnnHandley.com, and is publishing a book later this year with CC Chapman called Content Rules.
That said, here we go!
The official subject was “Creating and Managing Group Blogs” which is fairly hot-button these days, given corporate blogs, and massive news blogs like HuffPo, Engadget, Mashable and so on. Getting started is often easier than staying started – so it was good to see the advice come out on this.
First: Creating a Group Blog
First question from Mack Collier – How can a company tell if they should have a single-author blog, or a group blog?
Ouch. Good way to start. A lot of the discussion here reflected last week’s chat about developing a voice, or identifying authors on company blogs. The real killer term from Ann herself was (to paraphrase) “Frame of Approach” – which speaks volumes about her own approach to content. Consensus follows; there’s a big (BIG) gap between directed writing and the general approach of a group blog from an editorial point of view.
I asked what “top three” steps a group should take before setting up a blog and launching. Got some fairly good responses;
from @PushingSocial – @ianmrountree – #1 decide problems to solve, #2 identify perspectives to offer, #3 assign perspectives to the champion in the org #blogchat
from @jb140 – @ianmrountree I’d say first & foremost you need to have a writing strategy of what keywords you want to use if for in SEO #blogchat
from @pheffernanvt – @ianmrountree 1. platform/blog description 2. agree on categories/topics per blogger, 3. editorial calendar with schedule, process #blogchat
An interesting range, actually – I think I was expecting more planning, less perspective. Still, I agree with most of it; content strategy IS planning IS SEO, IS so much of blogging.
When I got back from my jaunt into reply-ville, the chat was talking about editorial mandating.
@Nedra – Daily Fix is a community – how did MarketingProfs manage that?
– By being a part of the community.
Next: Managing Groups in a Blog
@MarketingProfs: Cultivating community: By IDing people who are active. One of my best tactics is to lurk in the comments, see who’s already there.
Who’s “already there” is a big deal. We’ve seen how important this is all over. Ann also mentioned “Social Prospecting” which is such an awesome idea – tapping active commentators to contribute, finding out where else people are active – looking for the good writers and asking for the join is a big deal and can be aided by simply making yourself available.
On making it easy for them to contribute:
@MarketingProfs: At the risk of name-dropping, that’s how Arianna Huffington got George Clooney to blog. (Made it super-easy.) #yesshetoldmethat #blogchat
Sound notation, given the crowd.
Finally, a personal note. Communities cannot become echo chambers. There has to be discussion and collaboration in groups, not sycophancy; without like perspective, communities cannot function. Riddled with sycophants, there are two options; spiral of descending quality, or sudden enigmatic explosion of popularity followed by a spiral of descending quality. Playing into the curve of praise is a bad idea for one person – even worse for groups.
I’ve missed things – I know I have. What did I miss? Share your thoughts, by all means. We’re in this together, right?
Participants’ List: TweepML Participants’ List for #blogchat July 11th, 2010 – @marketingprofs
What the Hashtag: Transcript for #blogchat July 11th, 2010
Mack shared this list of tweetchats and it’s dreadful and awesome. Bookmark it!