How do I decide what to blog about?

James Dellow tagged me (and others) after answering Kate's question: How do you decide what to blog on? I was listening and, as promised, will answer this question too. I read John Tropea's and Jack Vinson's answers too.

I've wrote about my blog experiences before, also explaining why I started blogging. I still enjoy blogging and find it very exciting.

The topics I blog about are in the area of information and knowledge management. By following blogs and websites using Google Reader I stay up-to-date on the news in these areas and learn from insights of people I admire in the field. I also post on my ideas and thoughts, mostly triggered by the things I read.

What I usually do is go through my feeds, 'star' the posts I find interesting and want to read. (In the past I would also go through my Google Alerts, but I'm doing that in Reader now!) Furthermore I keep in touch via Twitter. If someone 'tweats' a question I can answer, I'll do that immediately. If someone points to an interesting post I don't follow, I'll open it and save it in Reader (so I can read it later and it's stored in my Reader).

After processing my feeds, I check the starred posts, open them, skim through them and see if they're interesting enough to read more closely. I select the ones I want to read more closely on a couple of criteria. A.o. I select posts that answer questions I have and I select posts that I think I'm going to comment on. I always try to leave a comment if I like the post, even if it's a short comment. Just to say thanks.

I usually print the interesting posts (- I work for a printing company... -), read them in the car on the way home or on the way to work (don't worry I don't read and drive, I carpool), write some comments in the sideline and wait for a good time to write one or more posts. And there's always not enough time...

Sometimes I also post about topics that are not in scope of this blog. I do that just for fun and to show I'm not only about IM and KM. (Although I don't intend to get too personal on my blog. This blog is about my work.)

I use my blog:

  • to write down thoughts and ideas I have about things I bump into on the web or in real life. Of course, you could do this in Word too, however blogging about it adds value: you have to write down your thoughts in such a way others can read and understand it too. I'm learning by openly communicating my thoughts, also hoping others will read it and build upon it.
  • to share what I like on the Internet. I bookmark links and post 'recommended links' on this blog (automatically). I also read the 'recommended links' from others. I see it as social search. Others are keeping track of interesting stuff on blogs that I don't follow and I do the same for them.
  • to ask questions. I also ask questions on my blog, when I run into things I don't understand. I believe there are no stupid questions.
  • to share what I've found and what I think. Very regularly I send links of my blog posts to people that ask me my opinion on a certain topic. "It's on the blog". I also see my blog as my "extended memory".
  • to show I want to be open and (pretty) transparent. I'm knowledgeable (to a certain extent) and want to listen and learn from others, because I can't and don't know everything.
  • to live blog conferences or external workshops
  • to amplify someone's idea or insight, by simply passing it on with a short comment or recommendation
UPDATE: Oh, by the way, I use CoComment to keep track of the comments I make on posts.

I'll go ahead and follow James' example and tag a few others (asking them to answer the question too). So, it's your turn:


  1. Samuel -

    I was reading along, minding my own business, thinking I should leave a comment asking about how you save specific pages to your reader ... and then I saw your last paragraph. You definitely caught me by surprise! I'm not sure I've actually worked out my "blogging philosophy" yet, but perhaps this is as good a time as any to attempt it.

    Stay tuned.

    - Mary

  2. Thanks for your comment, Mary. You describe exactly what I find so exciting about blogging and reading other blogs: when you least expect it, you run into something that triggers you. Great! Look forward to read you answer to the question.


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