The time for procrastinating is over.
My first (official, at least) foray into bloggery is complete. I’ve spent years reading, commenting and posting on other people’s blogs and have advised and encouraged folk to ‘get involved’ in the conversations out there. But, until now at least, I have not had a distinctive ‘voice’ of my own. After much thought, experimenting with WordPress templates and stepping back from the brink more than once, that thankfully ends tonight. And it feels pretty good too!
So, as any self-respecting blogger would do, I am kicking things off with a ‘list’, containing three reasons why I’ve finally decided to get blogging (which also explain why it’s taken me until now to get started).
#1 (Not) finding the time: in fairness, it’s been a busy year. I’ve become a dad for the second time, relocated from Manchester to Bristol, sold my house and switched jobs at a time of intense and rapid change for my new employer, the Homes and Communities Agency. And that’s on top of my other strands of social media activity. Adding to those pressures has, at times, seemed like madness. But with the last year under my belt, now seems like a good time to be starting something new.
2. (Lack of) relevance to the ‘day job’: I don’t think I have ever really believed this, but it is something I’ve encountered when discussing the merits of blogging and social media. Some people in the social housing world, and the public sector in general, feel that the efforts of communicators are better focused on traditional methods. It’s clear that an increasing number of people are not finding out about us in ‘traditional’ ways any more, however. Those such as Kate Hughes of Wolverhampton Homes are showing what the sector should be doing, without ditching the ‘tried and trusted’ in the process. My own view over this is shaped by the audiences I try to engage, not the latest ‘fad’ or trend. And, if they are using social media (which they definitely are, judging by the blogs and Twitter traffic out there), communicators should be too.
3. (Lack of) knowledge/skills: Sure, I will never understand code. And it’s taken some time to get to the point of making my first post. But, it’s only as I have begun piecing things together that I have also realised I have the skills needed to be a blogger. I can write (and enjoy doing it), which is the most fundamental aspect. I have a sound knowledge of the principles around engaging other bloggers and posting content on their sites. And I use social media (including Twitter, Linked-in and Facebook) every day. I can talk the talk, and walk the walk.
This blog is my attempt to demonstrate this. I hope those of you who visit find it worthwhile.