It's rare for me to miss a few days but the simple truth I am too wrapped up in the rebuild of one 'storyline' in the OU Business School website.
This and preparing another presentation, this time on 'blogging' having opened what will become a series with 'Social Media' last week.
I see three necessary phases in becoming a blogger:
- Create (and collaborate)
'Listen' as in reading loads, being led wherever someone appeals to you, 'listening in' on the conversations that are being started and saving these sites to peruse regularly.
There were over 150 million blogs the last time I cared to seek out the statistics.
How do you even begin to find those few that you are prepared to read on a regular basis?
Clearly you cannot read everything; even in your own field of interest, unless it is the tightest niche, might have thousands of commentors.
I go for 'like minds', authors with whom you feel you could converse, those you wish to emulate, whose thoughts maybe like your own, but fully fledged.
I am currently following Andrew Sullivan a bit, but some of the many other bloggers he lists a lot. Andrew is British born and raised, though now living in New York, somewhat right-wing (has always been wedded to the Conservative Party), gay (he played the lead role in Another Country at Oxford though took a while longer to come out - at Harvard I believe.
Is his background relevant? Probably not, this is about intellect, confidence, informed opinion and a degree of early precociousness and desire to be heard.
His intellect and presumption took him to Oxford (Modern History) and then Harvard.
By all accounts, with 1,000,000 page views a month Sullivan has many followers.
He does this by
- being well informed
- being willing to express an opion
We look to commentators for 'breaking views', as another Oxford graduate of this same era puts it; though Hugo Dixon, a grandson (or great grandson) of Winston Churchill has a somewhat different background to that of Sullivan.
Irrelevant? Both men are a product of their intellect, so more nature that nurture in this case.
What they had in common as undergraduates was a precocious desire to express their opinion. Is it any wonder that we are drawn to what they have to say ? Even more so now than in previous eras we are in desperate need of people to filter the overwhelming deluge of information and offer some path through-out, in their different ways these too do it. All I need are other minds like these across other fields.
They make a convincing point succintly.
I'm clicking through the 60+ blogs Andrew Sullivan lists in his blogroll and find it hard not to click the 'save bookmark' option with every one of these. Nice when someone has done it for you, though I am yet to come across the UK equivalent. The idea that these are read but Sullivan regularly is also daft; look at my own blog roll (somewhere needs to tear a few off for me).
Any suggestions for the most informed bloggers to follow?
Stephen Fry is of the same ilk as the two given above, though more embedded in the performing arts than Andrew Sullivan.