Monday, January 9, 2012

An afternoon floating in the blogosphere

By Ed Stannard, Community Engagement Editor
Twitter: @edstannardnhr, @nhrvoices
Facebook: Ed Stannard-Register, Community Media Lab

It’s a big new digital world we live in, and we’re all at different places on the path. So it’s great to meet up with others and trade ideas.

That’s the idea behind “Bloggers and Beer,” a monthly event at The Grove, a kind of social-entrepreneurial incubator and nice place to hang out. I went there today with Angi to find out what was happening. We had an ulterior motive too—to spread the word about our Community Media Lab of bloggers. We’re always looking for new writers to add to our stable.

I don’t know if it was the blogging or the beer, but more than 15 people were there: everyone from a guy who’s running multiple blogs, to someone getting ready to launch, to a hat designer. Some had no clue how to get a blog going. Most had something they weren’t sure about. (I include myself in the category of “have a clue, but not a big one.”)

The topic of the day was content—how to make a blog interesting to draw traffic. There was talk about having bright, interesting headers, photos, graphics, and how people sharing on social media makes the audience bigger.

Someone said something like, “Once someone tells me how to do something, I feel like I should have known that already.” I’ve felt that many times. Here’s my take on it: This digital medium is like going to a new country. Even when you know what’s going on, it can feel foreign and strange. We should assume we know everything there is to know, even if we knew it when we put out a newspaper or a newsletter. That’s why we need to get together, share ideas. The bottom line: There are no stupid questions, and if anyone asks me something that’s obvious to me, I need to remember that I have asked others things that were obvious to them.

That was the tone at today’s gathering at the Grove: People helping each other, bringing them along. It was exciting and fun. Join us next time!

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