Friday, December 29, 2006

Blog Maturity

As the year draws to a close, I thought I would post some thoughts on my foray into blogging this year. For me blogging is a way to keep my thinking sharp and creative.

  • I can capture and flesh out thoughts. The very act of writing something down in a succinct way for a blog post helps you refine concepts and cements them better into your thoughts.
  • It helps me become a better writer. I have heard it said that if you cannot write well you should stay away from blogging. I say “If you want to get better at writing – start a blog”
  • It allows me to expand my thinking on topics by joining and starting conversations with other people that have very valuable insights. It has helped me connect with people locally as well as others around the world.

Daniel Scocco (author of Innovation Zen Blog) started daily blogging tips this year. He recently posted about writing timeless content, and in this post what I feel is the key tip was writing content that adds value. I have been thinking about this and came up with this visual around blog maturity. There is a positive correlation between content value and conversation potential which together produced a high value blog. I grouped maturity into 4 categories.

Aggregators: These are blogs that just link to other blogs. They help you find topical content, but there is limited to no potential for conversation.

Content Delivery: These are blogs that generate content, but the value of the content is often highly variable. There is some potential for conversation, but the content is sometimes marginally interesting or just a transfer from another source. (creator often has limited ability to add to his/her own conversation)

Derivative Thought: These are blogs that take an existing conversation and add their own spin or thought to expand the conversation or take it in a different direction.

Original Thought: These are blogs that take a concept (new or existing) and start conversations by infusing a new thought.

The great thing about this model is that you don’t have to start at the bottom. You can start at any place. Your position in the model is dependant on the creativity of your thought, not on your tenure. Think about how blogs can help the thinking in your business or for yourself.

Gartner is predicting that rate of blogging will slow, but I think all that this means is that the lower quality and lower maturity blogs will start to drop off. Business blogs will increase, and blogs in general will get better as people understand the medium. In general I think the overall blogsphere will likely see an increase in maturity even with a slowdown.


Daniel Scocco said...

Very nice graphic, I agree that bloggers should aim for original ideas.

Actually every time that I took the time to sit, think and write something unique it received a lot of positive feedback.

I guess the challenge is to be able to produce such posts or articles on a consistent basis.

Kevin Donaldson said...

Thanks Daniel. I agree that its challenging, but at least thinking that way is the first step. By the way - your new office is much nicer than the older one:)