Six Ways Blogging Changes Behavior

As a long-time blogger (has it really been four years?) there are amazing and strange ways that the medium changes your behavior.  Below are six ways in which I’ve observed that blogging can change behavior – both good and bad.

Good luck getting this rascal off your back.

The World is a Blog Post

Bloggers begin to experience everything around them as potential topics for blogging.  For me, any new topic and I can feel my mind trying to figure out how this information can be presented as a blog post.  Every time I meet with clients – their questions steer me to new topics.  Every thing I read begins to germinate as a blog post.  TV, movies, cooking, driving, etc.  Everything becomes fodder.  Most of the time bloggers don’t even realize that this is happening.

Sharing Everything – But Maybe Not

Bloggers are excited about news – and trends.  The tendency is to share everything.  You discover something new and you begin to think about ways to share the information with your friends, fans and followers.  This can be a good thing – especially when you’ve just read an article on tips to improve your social media campaign or a news story about businesses adopting social media practices.  However, your filters can get out of whack very quickly.

For example, several times I’ve started to draft a blog post related to a client or Weber Shandwick (where I work) when suddenly it dawns on me that I can’t share this information.  It is either privileged or private.  The instinct to share is very powerful when you’re a blogger that it can sometimes override common sense.  I can definitely understand how people end up sharing too much and get in trouble.

So it is important to make sure your filters are strong and that you don’t publish blog posts rashly.

The Searing Guilt of Blogging

It’s been a few days and no blog post.  Tomorrow, you think, I’ll have more time tomorrow.  Then tomorrow – which is now today – slips by with too many meetings, too many deadlines, and there’s still no blog post.  The blog starts to become a rather corpulent monkey riding on your shoulders.  The guilt starts to weigh you down until it begins to interrupt your day – kind of like what would happen if the monkey started banging a coconut against your head.  Some bloggers are good at pretending that there is no monkey on their shoulders.  Others can’t handle it and, despite other tasks mounting up, they write the damn blog post.

Me?  I need to get rid of the monkey.

Over Simplification Syndrome

Bloggers develop a very bad habit: If it can’t be explained in a blog post then it is too complicated.  Unfortunately, life is extremely complicated.  So is business.  Very few topics can be explained thoroughly via a blog post.  So there is a tendency to shave away the complications and make things – processes, politics, marketing, etc. – seem simpler than they really are.

There are very few solutions that work for everyone in every situation.  For example, saying that every company needs a social media strategy isn’t true.  Some companies don’t need to use social media.  Heck, some companies don’t need marketing or communications.

Bloggers need to be diligent in not resorting to Over Simplification Syndrome.

Oops, I’m Lecturing Again

Bloggers know everything.  Just read their blogs.

Only if you go back far enough in the archives, you’ll probably discover that the blogger has contradicted herself many times.  That’s because blogs are works in progress and bloggers may think one thing last year, but have now changed their minds.  That’s how most rational human beings work.  They discover new information and then adjust their opinions with the new data points.

But bloggers tend to be authoritative – even on topics that they are not experts on.  They like to use statements.  So bloggers have a tendency to start lecturing (and some bloggers can be downright scolding) and that’s not a good tendency.  Luckily, most bloggers allow for commenting and readers can weigh in when the lecturing becomes too much.

Here’s My Opinion – Whether You Want it or Not!

Bloggers get very bold in stating their opinions.  It’s what they do when they are blogging.  But being opinionated can often bleed out from blogging into regular life.  And guess what?  Most people don’t like really opinionated people constantly stating their opinions about everything.  People like conversations and interactions.

Bloggers need to watch out for this.

So how about you?  If you blog, how has it changed your behavior?  Have other social media channels changed the way you act?

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  1. Six Ways Blogging Changes Behavior « HighTalk « Computation + Journalism Class at Georgia Tech - February 9, 2010

    […] via Six Ways Blogging Changes Behavior « HighTalk. […]

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