There's some folks that think that bloggers are hunkered down in our basements with open boxes of pizza and Mountain Dew everywhere. There's another view of bloggers that you might not be aware of. Bloggers are social people that crave communication (and sometimes attention!).
Today, I had a fantastic morning meeting with some folks from Sharp Minds. I had the opportunity to discuss my experiences on blogging with the group and provide some insight into corporate blogging strategies. The lecture was very well accepted and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
The fascinating thing about this lecture is that it all happened from blogging. The people in attendance ranged from a department head professor at Ball State University to an IT representative from a manufacturing plant. I was a little intimidated – they were very curious, knowledgeable and engaged (truly Sharp Minds!). I would have never met these folks had it not been for blogging.
I started blogging. I then assisted Pat Coyle to blog. Together we started an open blog for Indianapolis folks to tell their story on why they loved the city. Pat met Ron Brumbarger, President and CEO of Bitwise Solutions and discussed my blogging. Ron heads up Sharp Minds to bring together folks in the region to discuss technology and thought Corporate Blogging would be a great topic for them to discuss. So Ron and Pat had lunch with me and we set it up.
All from blogging.
There were opportunities for all of the attendees and many of their eyes lit up. Some wrote pages of notes. I saw nodding heads (perhaps one from boredom 😉 – not everyone gets as excited about blogging as I do). It was a great opportunity and a fantastic group of people to discuss this technology with.
Much of the conversation centered around the fear of companies to take that step – it's a big one. As with any major initiative, blogging requires a strategy and some guidelines within a corporation. Done correctly, you'll push your company and yourself forward as thought leaders in your industry, be the first to the microphone on conversations around your product, and build personal relationships with your clients and prospects.
I think one of the realizations we came to was that companies need to embrace and adopt new technologies rather than being pushed into them by fear. One example was Kent State's ban on their athletes posting on Facebook. Imagine if administrators had the opportunity to encourage and monitor athletes' actions on Facebook instead. Wouldn't that be a fantastic recruitment resource? I think so.
As I spoke to the professor from Ball State, I thought how amazing it would be to see Freshman blogs on the internet, educating high school students on College life, being away from home, and the experiences of freedom and college. That's a powerful blog!
As well, my blogging landed me at the Indiana Humanity Council tonight where I met Roger Williams, President of the Emergent Leadership Institute. Roger utilizes social networks to coordinate and build his communities of young leaders in the region. Wow!
I also met representatives from Helping Homeless Veterans and Families, an unbelievable organization that helps homeless veterans to get back on their feet with long-term programs of counseling and care. They currently have 140 homeless vets in their program, providing them with food, shelter, job placement, etc.
The passion of these non-profits was amazing and I was encouraged how all of them saw opportunity in technology. There was a certain dichotomy between the two groups. The morning group had successful businesses that were curious about new technologies and, perhaps, a little anxious about what these new challenges would bring. The evening group was hungry for the next technology that would connect them with other people faster and more efficiently.
I suppose when your business is to save a Vet or to find the next meal for someone hungry, any technology that helps is great.