Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to Blogging!

The topic for our second week of class tonight is blogging. I ask my students to start and maintain a blog throughout the remaining 8 weeks of class because it is a great way to learn about what it takes to keep up with a social media property. A common misconception about social media is that it is inexpensive. This is often true from a technology perspective, as many of the tools (like Blogger) are free. However, the real cost involves much more than just the technology.

For example, a blog requires time and personnel to write regularly, to research other blogs and news items on the topic desired, as well as to craft responses to comments. It is very similar to the effort it takes to maintain a community - or any relationship, for that matter. When we blog, we build a relationship with our readers, who often become a community focused around and within that blog. This is actually the fun part of blogging! For some tips on getting started with a blog, see my post from last term on things to keep in mind for blogging success.

Interestingly, my students are not the only ones starting up a blog. With the new presidential administration, there is now a White House blog. The blog will be written under the direction of Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House. He has written his first post about the blog, stating that it will be part of an ongoing conversation. He even invites us all to give our feedback via a form on the website.

Ideally, a blog allows a conversation to take place right at the spot where there is engagement - on the blog itself. That is not happening yet on the White House blog, and the critics are definitely discussing this. At the moment, the blog looks more like just a web page than a conversation. Things are still new, so I am sure they will work to talk with the readers of the blog, rather than talk at the readers, in the near future. Stay tuned!

Now back to San Diego. Tonight, we will talk about the why and how of blogging. I am also bringing in a guest speaker, Tim Jackson of Masi Bicycles, to discuss how using a blog, and other social media, has helped improve their business. Tim has been great about creating a real community following via not only his blog but also his Tweets on Twitter.

I am looking forward to hearing Tim speak and to seeing the new blogs from my students later this week!

(Photo credit: rusak)


Beverly Macy said...

Thanks for blazing the trail in teaching social media. We've built on some of your terrific ideas for the Social Media class at UCLA and continue to check in with your blog to see what's new.

Keep up the good work!
Beverly Macy

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Thank you for allowing me to speak to the class tonight; the honor was all mine. (Sorry again for the rambling... I do get going...)

HeyStephanie said...

Will you be posting links to your students' blogs as well? I'm interested to see what they write about now that they're learning about blogging. ;]

Becky Carroll said...

Beverly, thank you for your comment. Nice to be sharing the trail with you!

Tim, thank you again for speaking to the class. They really enjoyed hearing the realities of corporate blogging (no sleep?!). We appreciate you sharing your time and experience with us!

Yes, Stephanie, the blog links will all be posted, right here! :)

bloggingaroundtheworld said...

it is always so interesting to compare different blog's styles!
As a former student, I really love to read about your class experiences.
And I find very useful to see differences between corporate, professional, and students blogs.
Great class, as usual!