Where is your porch?

There have been many metaphors for the conversations that happen on blogs with my favorite being blog as front porch, originally (to me) articulated by Brandon Wirtz.  This has been extended any number of directions.  I usually see Lilia, Ton or Jim doing something with the idea.  (Lilia in particular lately, as she is finalizing her PhD thesis on the topic of blogging.)

Many people will know that blogs have reached a plateau and that other forms of online conversations have captured the imagination: Facebook and Twitter being obvious big names, but there are many other places where people go to talk and listen.  A post from Mary Abraham gave me a little shake this morning, Shall I Tell You Where to Go?

There was a time when the critical business conversations happened on the golf course or in particular private clubs. Increasingly, they are happening online. So if you want to participate, find a social media tool that works for you and then use it to go where the conversation is.

I have known all along that blogging wasn't the only conversation platform, but for a while blogs were the (collective) place where people went to bounce ideas off their online connections.  As everyone knows, there has been an explosion of interest and awareness in other forms of online conversation, even old-school "community" websites designed in ways that are much more comfortable for people.

Mary's statement (and that of many other people) is right on the mark: the conversation is happening.  If you want to participate, either because your organization wants to have a voice or because you have something to say, find a mechanism that works for you and have at it.  And find something that works in multiple modes.  Don't just hang out on the front porch; give people speeding by some idea of what the porch holds; stop in on other porches; hang out at the cafe; open your windows and listen. 

Open your ears and listen.

2 Comment(s)

Mary Abraham Author Profile Page said:

Jack -

Thanks for the mention. It's so tempting to ask for advice regarding the single most effective social media tool and then just use it to the exclusion of all others. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), it isn't that simple any more. The reality is we probably have to be active in a variety of online areas with a variety of tools until we find the conversation that interests us (or requires our attention). But that is only good for as long as the conversation is good. Once it moves on, we have to move on as well. It will be interesting to see if blogs can retain the critical conversations or whether they will be supplanted by other tools and platforms.

- Mary

The Hard part for me about blogging is the amount of noise. I'm partly to blame having joined the shouting match writing articles about what ever is popular to get traffic, rather than building audience. But the truth is I just don't have time to read everyone's blog any more.

It's like logging in to FaceBook. There was a time when Blogging was about telling a story, and the Ratio of Noise / Fluff to story was better.

I can't read Scoble anymore because the sheer volume of stuff he says is over whelming.

It's a tough rope to walk saying enough that people check in, with out bludgeoning people over the head by talking their ear off.

Glad you still like the analogy Jack. I often wish I was a little more like Lilia blogging with out ads on the page. I have TakingTheBride.com for that but I don't get around to writing to it as often.


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