When I suggest to business people that they should consider blogging, the second most common objection I hear is that they don’t have anything to blog about.
(The most common objection I hear is that they don’t have time. It’s a real concern — I feel that way sometimes too — but one that’s solvable. I’ll address that in another post.)
Despite their objections, these business people do have worthy blogging topics. I know they do, because I sit in coffee shops. In a coffee shop, I hear people expounding on the news of the day, what they thought of the game the previous night, how their lives are going, how their businesses are doing. Each one has a unique take, information to share, insights.
When a person says he doesn’t have anything to blog about, what he usually means is that he doesn’t have anything earth-shaking to say. He may have a thought that is a slight twist or new interpretation, but not a major thesis on which to expound.
But blogging isn’t always about creating a whole new theory in each blog post. Often — usually — it’s about providing a unique take, sharing information, revealing an insight.
Often the most read and commented blog posts are the short ones, the posts that provide a bit of new information, no more than a busy person can absorb as they pass by in the midst of a busy day.
This is part of the success of Twitter: Anyone can write a single sentence. It’s also part of why people (particularly professional writers) are drawn to mini-blogging sites like Tumblr; they read an article or see a photo, and they want to add just a single thought and move on with the day.
For the quintessential example, see Seth Godin’s blog.
Those small ideas accumulate, within a single blog and in the web as a whole.
By the way, this is also the principle underlying Wikipedia. No one person knows everything on a topic, but any individual can help improve the Wikipedia entry on a topic, even if only to correct punctuation or grammar. Every contributor to Wikipedia is part of a distributed, virtual team, contributing a small part of a big result.
As a business person, you can add value to the information on the web by adding your perspective, your small but key insights. When you do that, you receive value back as well, in the form of connections with others involved in the conversation. You become part of the team.
What’s your take? Do you prefer short blog posts or longer essays (or is that not the right question)? How could you share your views more broadly? Do you have a reason not to contribute, not to be part of the team?