"Daddy, what's a blog?" the story might start--except it's not a child's question.
A current Monster Meter poll on Monster.com demonstrates that the latest technological innovations do not penetrate the public as quickly as many assume, including those who think they are being left behind.
Asked if they blog about work, 59 percent of more than 8,800 respondents (as of yesterday) selected the answer, "What are blogs?" It is a percentage that has stayed steady, as the number answering has increased. Since these people are using the Internet to post and find jobs, they know something about technology.
Blogs are supposed to be a revolution in expression. People can post their thoughts for others to read and respond to. Like everything else on the Web, however, blogs need to have fresh content or visitors quickly shun them.
Any columnist will tell you that writing fresh material regularly takes discipline. Moreover, it takes having ideas to write about, at least the kind that others want to read. It takes a lot of practice to write well.
It also takes good subject material. Many blogs about work--and those written by students about their schools--are potentially exercises in career suicide. Most people write about themselves. And that is online snooze material.
It takes time to write in a way that conveys ideas that draws others. It takes vision, not grand vision--you don't have to be Emerson or Thoreau--but there needs to be enough insight to understand what interests other people. Griping about a job often primarily interests those with firing powers.
Blogs look like a great way for executives to communicate views. However, when visiting blogs of Microsoft's executive team, I find many of those with ideas that would be interesting to hear about are extremely busy people whose postings can become embarrassingly outdated.
Is blogging revolutionary? Of course, it does represent a new way of expression. But it's a lot harder than people think, although those of us with the gift of gab in print should be able to make it work online.
I think I'll go start a blog; maybe somebody will read it.
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