In response to a recent posting on “Emergic Turning Points“, a few commenters asked where do I get the time to blog so much.
I consider blogging as part of my job and business. The blog focuses on technology, and helps me share my ideas and get feedback. It also connects me to people I would otherwise have never met. The blog also helps build trust and reputation, a sort of “digital identity”. It also servers as a searchable repository of articles and ideas I find interesting.
Viewed in this manner, I view the blog as a critical component in our efforts to get traction for our ideas. As someone I met said the other day, “Today’s business is a battle of ideas.” And there, my blog comes in useful – it is a low-cost way to market our ideas.
I do read quite a bit. It is a habit inculcated in me since childhood. Reading widely is what has been very helpful through the years in building up a vision for what the future will be, and what we should be doing to stake out our place in it. Blogging as an extension of reading (and thinking) takes up only a little extra time. My estimate is that I spend about 2.5 hours writing the 5 Tech Talk columns each week (normally on Sundays), and an additional 20-30 minutes a day blogging. So, a time investment of 5-6 hours may seem a lot, but spread over a week, it is easy to do, given the benefits.
A few tips and suggestions:
– Determine to blog daily. Blogging has to become part of the day’s routine. In case I am travelling or know that I will not be able to update the blog on a specific day, I try and create posts in advance, thus ensuring that readers find plenty of new things daily. This is something I learnt from IndiaWorld – we updated every site of ours daily. Things have to become habits – for both readers and writers.
– Read widely. One may not understand everything, but over time, one gets the lay of the land. Maps start forming. Stories acquire a context. And over time, the linkages between developments start becoming apparent. They prevent us from tunnel-vision. In today’s world, it is very important to have a wide-angle view.
– Think aloud. The one thing I decided when I started blogging is that I would write what I thought. This means I don’t have to worry about whether I need to “protect” this idea or not. Write everything. And that makes life simpler!
– Meet people. I find some of my best ideas come when I am meeting people and talking. Something they say or how they react sparks off a new thread. This reinforces the underlying thinking or sets me off on a new path. Either way, more fodder for the blog!
– Start. Even when I feel I may not somethign to say, sitting in front of the computer changes everything. The words just come. I find this happening with uncanny regularity especially for the Tech Talks.
– Always keep a notebook (paper/pen) handy. Ideas come by anytime. So, I jot them down, and then build upon them for the blog later.