Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jory on "Outward Facing"

I'm doing a writing assignment today, so I have to have lots of breaks. I was browsing Jory Des Jardin's blog and found her post on the value of blogging. The Blogomatic! It slices, dices, and even transforms a career!. Lots of good stuff, but there is one piece I want to pull out, as it has relevance to any community, particularly communities of practice.

In communities we often think about IN the community. What we share inside the boundaries. But cool stuff happens on the edges, boundaries and borders, so our community's outward face is important. I've been suggesting blogs as an outward face to a number of communities and non profits lately, so I was nodding when I read:

Blogging rewards outward facing thinking. I've found it ironic that I've been asked to help companies with STRONG competencies in media to better understand Web 2.0. The problem is they've become so focused on the day-to-day of their business reality and have become stuck in the insular thinking that inevitably results.

Companies that claim they can't afford to allow employees to blog are saying that they can't afford external PR, market research, and connection with clients. I still don't have the magic time management formula for corporate workers who want to blog but can't find the time. All I can tell them is that blogging forces expertise. You must read and interact in order to have something to say. If you don't want to have something to say, don't blog. And don't read blogs. Sure, you can read trade publications, but the act of blogging enforces a deeper thinking of your craft. It's hard to blog about something that you haven't grappled with and come to a conclusion on in some way.

That said, bloggers are by nature more intuned to whatever community they are writing about. And they can establish quickly where they can impact it. The Intrapreneurism that companies require to now stay ahead of the curve is easy to cultivate. Encourage people to blog. It's hard to feel out of the loop and disengaged with innovation when you are blogging.

Nodding in agreement. What is your outward facing strategy? Both for "telling" and for "listening?"


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