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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wisdom & blogs

Tonight I spoke at Women Business Owners Connection (WBOC) about blogs. My presentation was entitled:

Unveiling the WBOC Blog
What You Wanted To Know About Blogs But Didn't Know How To Ask!

You can view the PowerPoint presentation here. I had a slide show running before the meeting and during dinner that displayed quotes about blogging and screen shots of blogs. You can view that here.

I spoke to several women who are interested in blogging as a way of marketing their businesses. Topics they are thinking of blogging on include nutrition & food, stress reduction, selling/purchasing businesses, and leadership. Each person has wisdom that she wants to share. Wisdom that she feels will help to position her in the marketplace and help to distinguish her from competitors. Blogs are a great way of disseminating wisdom. Blogs allow your light to shine. They are a beacon that will attract people to you.

In the crowd tonight were also people who see blogs as (1) one more thing to read and (2) not credible. Yes, blogs can be viewed as one more thing to read. Many people, though, are shifting where and how they get their news and information. Many people read less hardcopy sources and more information online. Why? Information online can be much more up-to-date. Even business and professional news will be more up-to-date in an online journal (e-journal) than what you receive in print.

For those who enjoy reading print publications and find that those publications provide good information, blogs may be perceived as one more thing to read (which translates into something they don't have time to do). For those who find that the print publications are not covering their industry well -- or that the information is old -- then receiving news online may be very beneficial.

It is a benefit to read the blogs of those who are "in the trenches." Imagine reading about an important business deal from those who were involved in the deal...or hearing an analysis of the deal from someone who has had time to review the documents and look into the background. Yes, that can happen in the print media, but online there may be many voices -- many experts --contributing to the discussion.

And that leads us to the second thought -- that you don't know the credibility of the bloggers. I would argue that about any author. We tend to judge the credibility of a person based on what they have done professionally, what they have written, who they have worked with, and who has recommended them. When we judge at a book, we read about the author, look at the reviews, skim the book, and then perhaps decide to purchase it. It is the same with a blog.

Besides looking at the writer's credibility, I tend to consider three questions:
  • Can I learn something from them?
  • Do they hear things about the industry that I need to know?
  • Do they have a perspective that I need to hear?
By the way, I heard a David Weinberger, former senior internet adviser to the Howard Dean presidential campaign, spoke in 2004 talk about blogs, wikis and other new ways of disseminating information as allowing the wisdom of the masses to be recognized. According to Weinberger, wisdom used to be held by people, but then shifted to be a thing that only experts controlled. Now the Internet is allowing ordinary people to display their wisdom and expertise. (I'm over-simplifying this a bit, but not by much. You can hear his presentation here.)

Everyone tonight was given a card with the URL for the WBOC blog -- http://wboconnection.blogspot.com. I hope the women will look at the blog, leave comments, check out the calendar, and see it as a place where they can learn more about WBOC. Will it replace the WBOC newsletter? No, but it will compliment it. The newsletter is published bi-monthly, while the blog will be updated weekly. That means that the blog will have more current information and fresher content. The blog will also compliment the content on the WBOC web site.

In the end, I'm glad that I had a chance to talk about blogs so that more people are aware of them. With things rapidly changing on the Internet, being aware of seemingly new technologies/tools is always good.


Blogger WBOC Leadership Team said...

Thank you so much for a fabulous program Jill! We've gotten excellent feedback, including this comment from Janet Lutz, co-owner of Calico Gals Quilt Shop:

"Great meeting last night! I loved the program. It made me want to go home and, you know...blog!"

The presentation was jam-packed with great information - thank you!

10:01 PM  

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