Still reading and thinking about blogs – it’s the fault of Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Wb 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize, and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby. It’s a good book – I suggest you read it!
So today, I give you two thoughts about blogging and engaging blog communities.
On page 28, Ben writes: “A handful of elite political bloggers now wield tremendous influence, but like celebrity reporters, they’re in constant demand and are therefore more difficult to contact. However, they rely on so-called B-list bloggers for story sourcing. By looking at comments and links on an elite blogger’s site, you can begin to understand the structure of his or her network. You can reach out to the less popular bloggers and become a trusted source to them. In turn, they will feed your perspective and ideas to the elite bloggers.”
Engage the A Listers
There’s two ways to look at this. First, the obvious way. Want Robert Scoble or Chris Brogan or the ReadWriteWeb dudes to notice you? Find out who they read, then engage THOSE authors. The “B list” authors are more likely to hold conversations with you. If you strike up an engaging conversation with them, and that conversation ends up in the B lister’s blog, then … you just might get noticed by the “big guys.” Of course, if you’re like me, you’re starting way down the list (maybe the “Y Listers”?), so I have a much longer road to travel (unless the bloggers I linked to actually read their ego feeds – if you do, please say hi!).
Engage Your Community
Secondly, the much more interesting way. Ben continues (on page 29): “By developing trusted relationships and treating bloggers as a core part of your outreach efforts, you can take a proactive role in shaping news that affects your organization. You’ll also be prepared to respond rapidly to negative news and to promote your achievements.”
This means engaging local bloggers, or bloggers near and dear to your organization. In libraries, this means other librarians (to bounce ideas off of) and THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. Find bloggers in your area. Subscribe. Engage. Repeat.
There ARE bloggers in your area, already saying stuff about you. You have a chance to engage those bloggers and be a little more in control of what is said – at the least by correcting bad information or providing an another viewpoint to the situation. Better yet – you have a chance to tell your story to your community. Share your good stuff. Ask how you can make it better.
But to do that, you have to engage.