On blogging daily

I started blogging in 2001, but started in online communities dating back to 1994. I’m always a bit squeamish when I hear folks who were online in those days talked about as “pioneers” because while I guess it’s true, I tend to think of pioneers as people who explore space or do really bold innovative things that touch the lives of millions.

Oh wait.

Anyway, blogging everyday is a difficult thing to do when you feel like ideas are fleeting. I think one of the negative things about my professional life becoming more integrated with my personal one, is how it’s made me gunshy. When I started this latest blog six years ago, I wasn’t thinking very hard about who would read it. I recall once people asking me questions in a job interview about blog posts I’d written. I wasn’t prepared for it, because I was just riffing. It wasn’t even negative; but it still made me a bit wary of saying anything.

It’s been good over the past few years to be more of a consumer than a producer, because when I was more prolific, I read a lot less. Sometimes, I wonder how I had enough material to talk about since so much of what I was putting out was just reflections of my own experiences rather than something lived, understood and consumed. The more I read other people, the more I remind myself how I need to be blogging more.

So we’re gonna give this everyday blogging thing a go and see where it leads.

After the conference ends

Conference season is upon us, specifically for higher ed web nerds. I always enjoy this time of year, but it’s difficult when you go and have fantastic conversations with old (and new) friends only to come home and feel a bit defeated. I was talking to Scott Kubie at HighEdWeb Michigan and he made the comment about how conferences are better when a coworker can come, because the big ideas you get are that much sweeter when you can divide and conquer the event; or where major breakthroughs are experienced at the same time.

I agree majorly.

When a lot of people aren’t super aware of what kind of work I do online, it’s sometimes easy to gloss over the meatier parts of what gets covered at a conference for simply saying “it went well” and “it was good,” and not fleshing out the process or even that the conferences are intensive, chock full of information and go all day long.

While it can difficult to integrate everything you learn — especially at once — it’s no less important for us to come home and try to adopt at least one of the things we learn as soon as possible. Even if it’s telling people, “I learned a new thing I’m excited to try because…” it emphasizes the experience changed our perspectives and does more than just demonstrate the best parts of what conferences are about — people.

HighEdWeb Michigan talk

Last week, I went to Ann Arbor to speak at HighEdWeb Michigan for the 2nd straight year. This year, I discussed digital leadership which was mostly a discussion about web governance for people who aren’t in positions of power to make widespread changes happen. I’ve been telling Joel all year that I wanted to start having this conversation more, so this was the first time I got to have the talk in front of a larger audience and it went well.

Here are the slides via Speakerdeck and a Storify from the twitter stream during the conversation is also included. See where I’ll be next.

Choosing the channel

Remote Control

Too often I’m paralyzed by the plethora of platforms to post content. How do you decide what’s better for Tumblr over what would fit better at Medium? Shouldn’t I be posting more on my professional blog? Or maybe just make it a Twitter post?

For instance, I have this penchant for putting on hot water for tea but then deciding I don’t want tea and I pour out my now hot water. I feel like this is some kind of allegory for my life.

I’m not sure that I’ve adopted a personal style guide, per se, but there is a bit of a shorthand that helps me decide where I post where, though it does change depending on the frequency of my content.

Maybe sharing my own policy/methods/ideas will help you come up with your own?

Facebook: Things too long for Twitter. Rants. Things for a limited audience of people who know me and my voice.

Twitter: A melange of randomness. Stream of consciousness, though not just anything.

Tumblr: I have more than one. They’re segmented pretty well. But really nice for stuff you want to get out, but don’t want people to judge you for on Facebook or have etched into a more permanent record like Twitter. (Yes, I realize hyperlinks work across the interwebs, but…Tumblr is off the grid unless people go seek it out. Plus, I don’t tumbl under my own name though I’m easy to find.)

Instagram: It’s a private feed, always has been. I was a late adopter and for a long time, felt like I had absolutely nothing of note to share. Still sorta feel that way, but nice to engage when I go on trips and can choose what I share selectively.

Personal blog: Whenever something I think needs to be semi-long format or where I actually want people to read it.

Medium: Still figuring this out, but probably things I’d write that I think would be interesting for an audience of people who wouldn’t know me well enough to show up on my blog.

Pinterest: We don’t talk about that.

What about you? How do you decide what to post where?