Just over two years ago, almost to the day, I published my first blog article titled “The First Day.” I compared the experience of writing my first blog article to that of jumping into an inflatable bouncy house when I was a kid. You are never sure what to expect when you jump into that small, crowded space, but you do know it will probably be pretty exciting.
Writing a blog was an idea that had bounced around in my head for quite some time, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2016, while reading John Stepper’s excellent Working Out Loud book, that I finally became inspired to put pen to paper, or in this case, hand to keyboard.
Stepper began to blog as a creative and professional outlet. “I saw that making my ideas and work visible, I was shaping my reputation and getting access to opportunities I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”
I like to write, and I wanted to see if blogging would be a good platform for me to start to expand my network. After publishing my “First Day” blog, I committed to publishing a new blog article every week. It was difficult, but I pushed myself. I created a habit. I started to get results.
With every blog article I wrote, I got more and more views from a wide variety of locations. I had people reading my blog from the United States, Germany, and Canada. I had readers in Belgium and New Zealand. China, India, Australia, Sri Lanka and Oman. England. Israel. How did they find me? What was interesting to them? They read my blog today. Would they read my blog tomorrow?
I enjoyed writing about networking, technology and Working Out Loud at glickmanonline.com, but I realized my real love is music, so I decided to also blog about my very favorite songs. Two blogs a week. Every week. Music on Tuesday. Technology, networking and collaboration on Thursday. As Stepper writes, “writing has become a habit and something I enjoy doing.” For me, if I am not writing, I am considering what to write next. It has become part of my routine. It is what I do.
In a way, I suppose my blog is my business card. People read my blog, and they know what I do, they have a sense of my skills and expertise, and they know what I care about. If there is someone I want to connect with as a way to expand my network, I can share one of my blog articles with them. If someone reaches out to me with a question about something related to my work, I now have content I have created that I can share with them that can hopefully provide useful background information, actionable data or just informative experiences.
Also, blogging makes me feel good about myself, and my work. I blog in WordPress, and I love seeing the analytics for my blog. Not a lot of people read my blog, but every click is a vote of interest and confidence. Most people come in and read one or two articles, and leave, but just last week I had a visitor to my site read over 50 of my posts.
I first began to blog on a free site, and then I upgraded to the current https://glickmanonline.com Wordpress site where my “All Together Now” blog now lives. I have been fortunate to have thousands of people read my blog from around the world, and I have learned so much along the way. I have learned how to craft an idea and a message. I have learned what types of subjects resonate with people, which subjects don’t. I learned that, while my blog does not get wide readership, I like to write and I like being able to connect with people in this way.
These, in no particular order, are five of my most popular blog posts.
- Working Out Loud with The Boss. I had been participating in Working Out Loud
circles at work for about 6 months, and I had been a Bruce Springsteen fan my whole life. This video of Springsteen performing a Chuck Berry classic, in front of 30,000 people with a full band that had never performed the song before, is a living, breathing exercise in Working Out Loud. A master class in how to be transparent and vulnerable while improving your skills and expanding your network. It’s really something to watch.
- My Best Worst Day. On January 23, 2002, I suffered a minor stroke, and then I was laid off from my job. On the same day. Why was I thankful? How did I learn to live my life in this new reality? How did I learn to network and grow? Why is my life so much better today than it was on January 22nd, 2002? I’m glad this story resonated with so many people.
- Microsoft Ignite 2016: Top 10 things learned by an Apple loving, non-IT, Jewish non-profit professional. I had just attended my first Microsoft Ignite conference, and I had just seen and learned a lot. Yes, I think people wanted to read what I wrote, but I also think I wrote a pretty catchy title for my blog post.
- Embrace the complaint. My team and I manage a Yammer network, an enterprise social space for people to network and collaborate. A colleague of mine made a very public complaint on Facebook for all his 3,000 friends to see about our Yammer network. Nobody likes complaints, but if people don’t complain out loud, then we never have an opportunity to help fix things. I think people appreciated our response to the complaint, and how we were able to help lots of people as a result.
- The Microsoft Collaboration Triangle. Microsoft had been using the concept of inner and outer loops to help people understand how to use their different collaboration platforms, like Teams and Yammer. I understood that concept, but I thought it was limited in that was looking at the relationship between their platforms only through the lens of teamwork, and not workflow and resource sharing. I think the Collaboration Triangle supports the concept of the inner and outer loops, but also shows how information flows between the different platforms.
So, I guess I am just trying to say that these are few of the things I know, some of the things I have learned over the last couple of years. They are here on my blog site, and I can share them with you at any time. Maybe they’ll help. What do you know? What do you have to share? I’d love to read your blog!