The Actionable Blog

I’m reading Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Wb 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize, and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby. Page 20 talks about Amnesty International starting a blog, and says this:

“One of Amnesty’s key objectives is to encourage offline action, which the blog achieves. On the day [the author] visited [the website], a recent post in the “Student Activism” area called for students to spend some of their summer vacation sending postcards … Amnesty’s blog both asks for participation and shows results from past involvement, a method of engagement often called “closing the feedback loop.” The loop begins when a supporter takes action and closes when the organization shows the results of that action.”

That quote, along with my continued thinking and working on implementing the GTD method of personal organization and management, made me wonder what an “actionable” blog would look like in our libraries. Yes, I think it’s a spin-off of my earlier idea of inviting participation, so I’m either still stuck in that mode or I’m still developing the idea… you decide.

Back to my actionable blog idea – I think an actionable blog would not simply announce upcoming events or new purchases at the library. It wouldn’t even simply invite readers to come to the event or check out the book.

Instead, the content of an actionable blog post would require an action. It would be active rather than passive. Our public library’s summer reading program is an example of that. We give kids a sheet to work on – they have to read so many books. It’s an actionable thing for them to do (read the books, fill out the sheet). If they do, they get a prize.

Can’t our blog posts be a little more like that, too? How would that look in a library setting? I think we would ask for an action to be done. Just like in email, when you really need soemthing to be done, you might say this in the subject heading of the email – response required…  then you might follow up in a week or so.

I guess one example would be to ask a question. We’re doing that in our posts titled “What’s in Your Top 5?” We name our top 5 movies, music, etc… and then ask our readers what are their top five? That’s actionable, because it’s asking for a response.

Can we do this in the social networking services we’re starting to use? I think so. Try it out, see what happens. Ask for some participation of your customers, and you just might be surprised.