July 10, 2008
Liz published this at 11:49 am
by Scott McIntyre
It is a little daunting to be out here for the first time, writing in front of you all. But I’m not too nervous because I know that you’re friendly folk. You see, I’ve been waiting around these parts for a few months now, watching what’s been going on with great interest. I’ve mostly remained in the background, only once or twice venturing out into the open space of the comments section.
Then, one day, Liz posed a question on the search for the non-blogging customer, and I just couldn’t stop myself — I bolted from the sidelines and let my presence be known. At last, I had something to add to the conversation! This was an issue that I knew about first hand — for I am one of that apparently rare breed — the avid blog reader without a blog.
When Liz invited me to share with you my non-blogging perspective on the blogosphere, I readily and gratefully accepted. While exploring many blogs, I have studied both the ‘art’, as well as the ‘technical’, aspects of blogging.
I have educated myself on the often bewildering, unique features of blogs. I can speak the lingo — I know what a ‘post’ is, I can explain ‘RSS’ and the benefits of ‘subscribing’. Heck, I even get what a ‘trackback’ is!
It’s been rewarding to spend time browsing and stumbling through a diverse variety of web pages as part of my active use of Social Media . . . and I’ve done this without the vehicle of a blog.
Over the coming weeks, I’d like to pass on my observations
- to help you identify issues associated with targetting offline customers
- and to offer suggestions on methods you can use to connect effectively with this group.
Together, we will highlight the challenges involved in finding and attracting the non-blogger back to an online business and find solutions for success.
But, first, let me explain on how I became such a passionate advocate of blogs.
Discovering The Blogosphere: My Journey Begins
Though I’ve always been a keen Internet user, I only clicked on my first weblog in March, earlier this year. Ironically, my introduction to the blogosphere wasn’t by way of a gentle, general interest blog but via the ultimate in “How to Blogs” — problogger.
I was fascinated to read Darren’s clear explanations and advice on blogging, and those of his readers. The more I delved into his archives, the more I realised the tremendous value of blogs. It was like finding a never ending supply of constantly updated magazines, delivered daily to the letterbox of my feed reader.
The biggest revelation was to witness how the audience is able to interact with the blogger, and with each other, through the community of the comments section. By doing so, readers are shaping and influencing the very content itself. I soon went searching for countless other blogs, subscribing to many as I went.
Certain blogs have made my experience easier to our mutual benefit. For example, I am more likely to hang around, or sign up to, a blog that has
- a user-friendly design,
- first class content,
- a lively comments section,
- and other elements which embrace all readers — bloggers or not.
It is clear that Liz works hard to ensure that the S.O.B. community here is accessible to everyone regardless of their familiarity with blog ‘netiquette’. That’s the reason why I felt compelled to contribute in the first place.
Back then, little did I realise how enthusiastic I would become about this dynamic medium, and by how much I would want to learn about the ‘mechanics’ of blogging. Nor could I ever have anticipated how strong my desire would be to encourage as many other non-bloggers as possible to discover blogs for themselves.
Why Don’t I Blog?
After espousing the brilliance of blogs, you might reasonably ask why I don’t blog myself. It’s a valid question. The more I read blogs and see their potential, the more I am drawn to becoming an active participant as a means of expressing myself. It just hasn’t happened yet.
In many ways, the very fact that I am writing this post today is a novel idea on Liz’s part. Usually, only bloggers do guest posts.
The best analogy I can use to describe my interest in blogs is to compare it to that of an automobile fan who can drive, but doesn’t yet possess their own automobile. There’s no reason why he or she, can’t become au fait with how a classic engine works or travel round automobile shows, admiring the gleaming models on display.
Just as you don’t have to write for, or own, a magazine to be able to read one, you don’t actually have to be a blogger to enjoy browsing through blogs.
I’m Scott McIntyre. I’m an avid blog reader without a blog.
If you’re a non-blogging reader, leave a comment to let me know you’re out there. If you’re a blogger, what advice do you have for non-bloggers, who want to be part of your blog?
Scott is a freelance writer based in Scotland, who only recently discovered the wonders of the blogosphere. A former policy manager with the Scottish Government, his background is in business and Human Resource Management. Scott’s interest in writing developed when, at the age of just 15 and still at school, he edited and wrote for a newspaper column. He is on a personal mission to live a colorful life, and to write about it along the way. You can find out more at LinkedIn, or be one of the first to follow Scott on Twitter.