Friday, September 07, 2007

What I'm learning about blogging

(Or perhaps it's more accurate to say, what opinions I'm finding I've developed about it:)

The following ideas started life as a prospective style note to my bloggy brothers at Idea Champions' "Heart of Innovation," on which I'm happily toiling these days, after Mitch Ditkoff, the company's President-for-Life and our Captain Kirk (unless he's prefer Picard), e-mailed the other writers this admonition about a particular topic:

"We can revisit this idea a number of times on the blog. Don't need to nail it all in one posting."
I happen to think this is a Mighty Principle where webloggery is concerned, and wanted to spill about it briefly. As I said, of course, it's just my own BFO (Big Fat Opinion).

At this point in time, 'blogs are more of a minimalist art form, like e-mail. People surfing the web and spilling onto your page momentarily want to be fed a tasty but bite-sized bit, and if they like it they'll hang out for awhile and sample your other menu items.

Not very hungry just now? Put another way, then, it's not the book or even a chapter, it's the dust jacket copy. The accumulation of passing comments eventually winds up as a complete statement, whether by ear, in print, or online. All of your points will be made, in time -- patience is still sometimes a virtue, even in these hyper-driven times.

It is excellent to have an Extended Entry capability (The Heart of Innovation is produced with Movable Type; Blogger, here, hasn't evolved to that point yet). Extended Entry, aka "MORE," means you can go into some real depth, while offering just a maybe five-six paragraph opening bit that expresses your complete thought.

If you have enough to say, it can become a series of posts on a given topic. The next stage of development is that any topic can evolve into an article. But in general, when blogging, Cut To The Chase -- everybody's real busy these days.

Team Blogging
It's really just out-and-out, major Fun to be working on a blog with a team of like-minded (and -spirited) writers, and on such an intrinsically exciting topic. "Innovation," after all is really based on open-mindedness, awareness, whatever you call that elusive quality of really being present and paying attention to Life, as it is happening.

And the synergy -- I'm really enjoying the different styles and levels employed by each of the writers. For me, every new entry is a different version of "Wow!" This can't help but get you up for your own next offering.

Mitch, for instance, is the jazz musician, the sax player blowing these wild and crazy licks that make you sit up in your seat and go, "Yeah!" (Very Kerouac, here in the 50th anniversary year of "On The Road.")

The rest of us, Val Vadeboncoeur, Tim Moore, Farrell Reynolds and I, so far seem to be more into various degrees of working through the lines of reasoning, carefully link-annotating a wide range of reference points, in pursuit of the Comprehensive Statement. So a big part of my role has been to keep exhorting the troops to stay in touch with that modern feeling that Less Is More.
(You'll notice, if you read this far, that my theory far exceeds my practice. But we soldier on, trying to follow our own advice. And ain't that the way it so often is? But damn, do I wish Blogger had that-there extended entry thang.)

2 comments:

Mitch Ditkoff said...

Bill: Well said. Right on. And a hearty heigh ho hyperlink. You, as usual, make several lucid points. "Team blogging" is an especially interesting topic to me. It's really all about a disparate group of people jamming (over time, not in the same room) and making beautiful music. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The effort requires continuity, commitment, listening, fun, engagement, curiosity, feedback, egolessness, and life long learning. None of us is as smart as all of us, even though, holographically speaking, each of us IS the whole. "Now that we have met with paradox, we have some hope of making progress," said Niels Bohr. Ultimately, I think the HEART OF INNOVATION blog is going to be more and more about the art and science of creative collaboration in an age of isolation, virtuality, and nano-everything. I like the idea of publishing each year's blog postings as an eBook.. or maybe the "The Best Of" version of the year. PS: Look for my soon-to-be posted Heart of Innovation entry on SIMPLICITY. (I'd like it to be haiku-length, but it's turning out to be 385 pages worth. Hmmm.. "Now that we have met with parodox... now that we have met with paradox... now that we have met with paradox..."
To be continued...

Nettie Hartsock said...

Bill,

I love the humor you use in your blog posts! Really cool