I’ve been wondering why leaders in our field — people like JoAnn Hackos, Karen Schriver, Ginny Redish, Saul Carliner, Ann Rockley, etc. — aren’t blogging.
Are they just too busy or do they not see any value in it?
After listening to Karen Schriver’s presentations at the STC Summit in Minneapolis, I hoped she’d have a blog where I could read about her research and her observations on trends in design. But, alas, she doesn’t even have a Web site.
JoAnn Hackos publishes a regular newsletter: Information Management News with some pretty good articles on a variety of topics. Is that a better strategy?
In Alertbox this month, Jakob Nielsen says yes. “Write articles, not blog postings.”
To demonstrate world-class expertise, avoid quickly written, shallow postings. Instead, invest your time in thorough, value-added content that attracts paying customers.
Don’t Call Me Tina does not presume to offer world-class expertise, so we will stick with dashing off our shallow postings.
Articles, blogs — whatever — I’d just like to hear more from some of these people instead of having to wait for the occasional article in Technical Communication or crowd into an STC conference session to hear them speak.
Mike Hughes is an example of an expert who uses a blog to present his musings on user experience. Scott Abel is another. They are very different blogs. Mike’s is written in a personal style, yet he poses challenging questions and provides unique insights on UX. Scott’s is more formal with article-like postings on content management and announcements of relevant events.
It’s interesting that one of the most popular tech comm blogs is Tom Johnson’s I’d Rather Be Writing. Tom didn’t start blogging because he was an expert. (No offense, Tom) He was interested in the medium and began exploring to see how far he could go.
Today he is an expert in a certain sense. More than any other person in our field, he is using Web 2.0 technology to share knowledge among technical communicators. This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Tech writers (and others) flock to his site to see what’s new and tune into the podcasts. His Technorati ranking is 13,936. The Content Wrangler is 76,900. DCMT is a lowly 3,827,667.