It’s refreshing to see the growing interest in Web 2.0 and business blogging in South Africa. Vincent Maher, a professor at Rhodes UniversityÂ recently posted some good guidelines forÂ blogging.
He says a blog is a stub for conversation and you should think about the perspectives of your audience.
Stephen Downes givesÂ his take on these ideas here
While some bloggers may be writing for their own edification, most are in it for the conversation.Â And there isÂ merit in knowing your audience.Â Not so you can write onlyÂ what they want to hear, but to facilitate goodÂ communication. Â
Blogging is a communication.Â Business blogging certainly has the purpose of reaching an audience. One of the first things you learn in communication theory is to understand the person who will receive your communication. Maher’s thoughts on blog posts fit in well with the old Seven C’s of Communication writtenÂ by Cutlip and Center in Effective Pubic Relations:
In a speech given atÂ Ball State University many years ago,Â Phil Lesly provided these guidelines for effective communication:
1) Approach everything from the view point of the audience’s interest–what’s on their minds; what’s in it for them.
2) Give the audience a sense of involvement in the communication process and in what’s going on. Get them involved and you get their interest.
3) Make the subject matter part of the atmosphere the audience lives with–what they talk about, what they hear from others. That means getting the material adopted in their channels of communication.
4) Communicate with people, not at them. Communication that approaches the audience as a target makes people put their defenses up against it.
5) Localize–getting the message conveyed as close to the individual’s own millieu as possible.
6) Use a number of channels of communication, not just one or two. The impact is far greater when it reaches people in a number of different forms.
7) Maintain consistency–so what’s said on the subject is the same no matter which audience it’s directed to or what the content is.
8) Still, tailor-make each message for the specific audience as much as possible.
9) Not propagandizing but making sure that you make your point.
10) Maintain credibility–which is essential for all of these points to be effective. (Schranz Lecture, 1982)
If you view your blog as a conversation, this is evergreen advice.Â Take it to heart when you blog.