I blog in two ways, as a professional during the week and, on the weekends, as someone who just enjoys stuff, like music, art, and food and does not pretend to be an expert in any of these three topics. During the work week, Monday through Friday, I see my blog as an extension of my former academic and business writing. As an academic psychologist, I did research on the effects of media on cognition. This continues to influence how I look at things and focuses some of my interests. I am excited about blogs as a new medium and interested in how they change cognition and communication. After writing a lot of academic stuff, I transitioned to business and served as a consultant for over twenty years.
I am now a Partner at the Merced Group. The Merced Group provides business strategy, program design, and implementation services to companies and organizations on social business efforts. The services we offer include: online communities, enterprise collaboration, social media marketing, as well as product marketing and management. I am also a team member at Darwin Ecosystems, a content awareness and discovery engine. I will write about it on occasion on this blog. I am also an independent consultant, writer, and speaker.
When I first started my blog, I was primarily writing about knowledge management, as this was my prior field and base of expertise, hence the name Portals and KM. I soon got more excited about blogs and have primarily written about them as a new form of business communication. Like many bloggers, my blog serves as a staging ground for writing in other channels. While my blog is certainly more informal than my print writing, when I am writing from this professional perspective I try to impose a partial “neutral point of view” and attempt to stay on topic.
On the weekend, I shed my professional role and simply write about what interests me, usually music and food, but not limited to these topics. Art and literature are others. I sometimes experiment with creative writing. So my blogging is very different on the weekend in both topics and style. I get real pleasure in meeting people through my blog who share my interests in both sets of topics. Some people have asked why I don’t just have two blogs. Often the advice for bloggers is to pick a focus.
I keep writing about a variety of topics on this blog for several reasons. My blog is about me and, like most people, I have several sides, work and play. Also, I do not want to write about professional stuff on the weekend and I try to stay on topic during the week. I certainly do not want to have a blog that I only post on weekends and another that I only post on during the week. With one main blog, people can see the more complete person. But I make it clear when I am doing what, so it is not simply a jumble of stuff. I also find that some people come to my blog because of food and music and stay to look at the business stuff, and the reverse. Why split yourself in half? I am not suggesting everyone do this. Blogs are personal. This is just my personal approach. I encourage everyone who blogs to develop some sort of policy and make it public.
I did start three other blogs on specific topics, the arts and family history, in part, to experiment with techniques for starting a blog, since that option was not available in this long running blog. The experience provided some valuable ideas for my business blog consulting experience and introduced me to new people with shared interests. I have published all the material I have for family history blogs but I am keeping them up as a record to share and I continue to have new visitors and new comments. Since I have started painting more recently, the art blog continues to offer new content.
I am not generally paid to write my blog. There have been a few exception when I covered events and this is done with full disclosure. I still had total editorial freedom. I do have some ads for event tickets as well as Google Ads, but these ads have no effect on what I write. I occasionally do reviews of books that people have provided to me free for review purposes and I always note that in my review. I also recommend many blogs and other things and many come from my friends. I usually note that, but then I am also more likely to like things that are done by people I already like.
This blog is syndictaed through Newstex, BlogBurst, Planet KM, Collabria, and several other forums. I am also a paid contributor to two group blogs operated by Corante, the App Gap and Fast Forward.