Managing Information Overload: How to find your blogging community
Presenter: Beth Kanter
Having participants fill out a short quiz: "How information overloaded are you?"
She is doing this as a full-room discussion.
She is looking at skills first - how to find your blogging community, and information-coping skills. Coping sounds cool, confident so you can do it.
She's been with the BlogHer community since it started. She's a contributing editor for social media/nonprofits.
Why the blog community is important
seven steps to find your blog community
information coping skills.
She has created a wiki with copies of her slides.
Two-minute poll: who blogs? How many blogs do you read? Do you comment? Want more comments on your own blog? Are you using an RSS reader?
Why build a blog community?
- You have interests and others share them.
- When I first started reading I realized I wasn't alone as a new mom staying at home.
- I like to learn about ideas and people and what people are doing and thinking. I don't want to find people who just share my interests, I want to learn about other interests.
- Collaborative brain, getting feedback about ideas I have.
- Educator: Personal Learning Network
1. Find your niche.
2. Find the bridge bloggers. Read their blogs. Do the keyword search feeds. Comment. have a sysstem to track it. Interact with readers.
If you do these seven things, you can build a fantastic community.
How many people when you blog define what you write about?
I would start to find my niche by brainstorming three ideas I want to write about. Do three more keywords related to those topics. The reason: when you start to go out and find bloggers it can be really open-ended, overwhelming. If you don't think offline, your head will spin and you'll get overwhelmed.
Audience: My blog is more a diary. I'm not a cook I'm not a mom, hey this is what happened today. How does a blog like mine find a niche and a community when I'm all over the place?
Beth: That's kind of how I started. What I did was follow my interests. I disciplined myself: this is the week that I'm really going to think about blogging (or other topic) and specifically bloggers in Africa. Then I would find other bloggers around that. Helped me build such a large community because I am sometimes all over the map.
When you go out to find other bloggers you want to have some kind of structure to keep you from just being in front of the monitor for hours and hours.
2. Find the bridge bloggers: Somebody in a particular space - food, social change - they're a community person, the mayor of the village. People link to them, blogroll witha lot of links, lots of comments. Queen of the space. Someone who is the subject matter expert blogger and community expert in that space. YOu want to find out who those people are.
Go to an aggregator site like AllTop.
Go to BlogHer directory.
3. Read blogs in RSS reader. Gives me the ability to read a lot of blogs really quickly.
Several people like GoogleReader - they like the integration with gchat for logging in and sharing with friends. Widget is useful. Visually easy to follow. Recommends other blogs.
Read commenters on blogs you're reading, add them to your reader.
Audience: Drawback for readers is you have to click through if you want to really be part of a community.
REsponse: Being part of a community takes time. Sometimes I'm late for work.
Kanter: Took kids' timeout monitor and give self 20 minutes to do that and then I'm done.
Browse and scan til you find a bridge blogger.
4. Use blog search engines. When you use Technorati, try different spellings of your name because people often spell them wrong. Monitors ego feed like crazy, a good way to build community. You can find out if people are talking to you or linking to you in the blogosphere. Look for keywords to have a radar in your space.
If other people are talking about you on twitter but not using @ tag, you won't know. Uses that for building community.
THink: SIMPLICITY, TIME BOXING, BEING THOUGHTFUL.
5. Become the queen of commenting.
Megan Smith: Three comments a day on different blogs every day.
Kanter: Thoughtful comments, not just "hey that's cool."Not a quantity of comments, it's how thoughtful they are.
Co-comment allows you to keep
7. write posts that encourage readers to comment.
After you ask people to comment write follow-up post on what you wanted people to comment on.
Audience: woman uses post called "Comment love", highlighting people who comment on her site.
Don't forget to link out to other bloggers on your posts.
Score: 0-5: GREAT INFORMATION COPING SKILLS
Audience: Juggling life responsibilities, kids, parents, priorities.
Audience: Business partner and she established "quiet hours", don't answer e-mail, phone, just work. They get more things done and are more relaxed.
Audience: I rotate the blogs I read. Frequent commenters and close friends are priorities. Don't feel guilty I'm oinly going to read xy&z today because I know I'll read others tomorrow.
Kanter: Information overload is a lot about message we're giving ourselves.
6-10 score: YOU HAVE SOME GOOD SKILLS AND A FEW BAD HABITS
Audience: Look at my life and what is important to me to feel whole. Walking, writing,
She has to be a role model for kids. Hard to tell kids to get offline when mom's sitting in front of the computer nonstop.
Score 11-15 YOU NEED HELP
Method for managing e-mail: Inbox Zero - discipline of going through email inbox once a day and clearing everything out down to zero.
Twittering on the toilet - being online too much.
Audience: worst thing I got this year - my iphone. I can blog on my iphone, Twitter etc.
Audience: iphone frees me up - I can approve comments, used to bother me that I had to wait.
Audience: Not good to be immersed in media when home with family, eating dinner, etc. Have to decide your values, decide what the etiquette is in your life and with whom - let it get out of control...people are not going to die if their comment is not approved ten minutes after they write it. It's about controlling me.
Score 16-20 IT MAY BE TOO LATE
Audience: Helps to have a plan for the day, not just being buffeted by variety of social networking/media projects.
it's okay if you're not ever completely caught up.
It's okay not to read every word. On the Internet you're looking at patterns.
Don't live at the post office. SO much faster at processing e-mail if I'm not in it all day.
Know when to turn the damn computer off and take a walk. Kanter: I can tell now what the physical symptoms are that I've been at the computer too long.