APPROACHING 10 YEARS as a blogger, I'm asked why I blog. It's a question that Doc Searls (at right) asked me when he visited Dublin in 2004.
Back then, I read Doc religiously because he conversed online. I also bought The Cluetrain Manifesto (TCM) in a dog-eared copy and put it on our creative multimedia curriculum. TCM sets out the case that all markets are conversations. And in the case of my blogging, all my posts are authentic snippets of conversations I've heard online or they are fragment of ideas that I would like to discuss. I use my blogging to think and reflect and I take some heat because I occasionally publish items that are not well thought-out. The result has been telephone calls before 8AM and late night text tirades telling me I'm a loser. But even when that happens, I feel like a winner because the commentary means I've succeeded in stoking a conversation. That by-product alone makes blogging and its permalinked nature well worth my time and energy.
Assuming I had the intelligence and the desire to run my thoughts through a sanity checker, I might be able to produce a by-product that complemented corporate communications. Surprisingly, in my 11 years of working in third level education, nobody has asked me to produce a lively, engaging, conversation about the joys of learning. I understand because my perspective comes from my perspective as an American frontiersman. That might not fit inside a corporate communications channel.
My review of technology and trends does fit inside the communications space of an online readership of 300 people every weekday that is mostly American, Irish and British. Those readers want diverse perspectives on how our modern world is evolving and how those in the smart economy can best adapt to ensure our children have greater opportunities. I'm collaborating in this quest because my blog has helped me meet clever people whose names I could not pronounce until after we finished our first face-to-face meeting. Several of those meetings would never have occurred without my background being vetted by careful consideration of what I've written across my blogs, on Irish discussion boards, and as a commentator in several social networks.
Blogging is the second most satisfying part of my workday with the Limerick Institute of Technology in the School of Tipperary. I get excited by the pressure of producing 200 words every day, knowing that a key bounce (or worse, a mood swing) could change the tone of anything I write. Blogging lets me vent and that's both compulsive and slightly dangerous. It has addicted me and will always be more a part of my essence than the tearaway thoughts I share on Twitter or the items I like on Facebook.
Thanks for reading.
Doc Searls and friends -- The Cluetrain Manifesto special anniversary edition, ISBN 978-0465024094.
Ewan McIntosh -- "Just because you can blog in one click doesn't mean you should", November 26, 2006. Updated August 6, 2007.