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How writing a blog can make you a better manager.

Euen Semple

You have to mostly work stuff out for yourself - and this is where a blog comes in. Writing a blog can help in the following ways: You notice more. I often think back to my days as a line manager. Working with people in big organisations I am reminded of the fears and frustrations that come with the job. This didn''t happen.

Blogging angst

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My friend Dave Tebbutt is wondering whether to give up his blog or not. Many of us over the years go through periods of questioning why we blog and if it is worth it. For me the biggest reason to blog is personal. So in fact I am currently making an effort to blog more often. It’s like lobbing pebbles into ponds.

Why blogging still matters in business - and always will.

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Blogging is a means by which to rediscover your voice, to learn to share your thoughts with others, and by doing so to help us all get smarter faster. But with a blog, a business blog whether internal or external, we have a place to play. We can make the blog our own and we can write with our own voice.

That first CEO blog post

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Your first "hello world" blog post is hard whoever you are - and whoever you think is going to read it. But imagine doing your first blog post as a senior executive. In fact those same people are probably itching to write your first blog post for you. You''ve probably only ever written business documents or emails on your own.

Why blogging still matters

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"?Most of what we inherit is so clearly correct it goes unseen. It fits the world seamlessly. It is the world. But despite its richness and variability, the well-defined world we inherit doesn't quite fit each one of us, individually. And so you make your place in the world by making part of it -- by contributing some new part to the set.

A rant about IT and losing our grip on reality.

Euen Semple

While writing this blog post I have been engaged in an email exchange with the hotel reception. <rant> Foursquare just gave me extra points for having checked in at airports continuously for the last eleven weeks. This is a dubious distinction. As a result I have gradually lost my grip of reality. This issue is endemic.

Unsettled

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This nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day - It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the participans came up afterwards to say that he felt unsettled by the conversaiton. We get complacent and stuck. But I wouldn’t go back.

Blogging and the Buddha

Euen Semple

At around the same time as this interest in Buddhism and meditation was beginning I was also getting into blogging. Although blogging had been going about a year when I started I was still part of a very small group of early bloggers working out what it was and what we could do with it. In order to blog you have to become more aware.

A word on heirarchies

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Won’t there be some who take to blogging and tweeting more readily than others and therefore end up on the top of a new  pile? There has been a lot written about the end or hierarchies. In fact David Weinberger once wrote that “hyperlinks subvert hierarchies”. But do we really mean this? Don’t hierarchies emerge everywhere in human nature?

Evolutionary thinking

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Blogging doesn''t get easier even after all these years. still go through the "Who am I to say this?", "Who cares what I think?" cycle each time. then wait nervously to see if anyone responds once I have published the post. Why should they? Two reasons. Secondly, by sticking it out there magic happens. All of these are worthwhile.

Disorder and the power of small steps

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felt powerless to help and thought "What''s blogging going to do for these people?". It all starts with that next blog post or update There is much instability in the world at the moment. Our old, centralised ways of doing things aren''t up to the job. The grown ups have lost the plot. thought that not everyone can be entrepreneurial.

Minimalist authenticity

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It was one of those words used a lot in the early days of blogging. Catching up with Sharon Richardson yesterday we got onto the topic of authenticity. The goal was to "find your voice" and aspire to online authenticity. But what does that really mean? And yet, perhaps bizarrely, we do manage to do this online. Pick your words carefully.

Your staff are your best advocates

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Hugh McLeod just re-blogged this post from 2005 on the same topic, and Steve Bridger just said in a Twitter conversation that he got a good response to saying " loyalty to charity brands is now shifting towards affinity to individuals working within charities" in a keynote yesterday.

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Facebook as a blogging platform

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Blogging is still one of the most useful and fun things you can do. still blog at The Obvious? Each time social networks die and we all move on my blog is still there. As people have moved into places like Facebook and Twitter the energy has moved away from blogging to some extent. love the energy of the conversations.

The written word

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Whether by blogging or updating Facebook we can put things out there, see what reactions we get, learn from the responses. OK so I know that there''s YouTube and podcasting but most of the Internet''s power is still in the written word. It is text that conveys most of the important ideas and it is accessible at almost zero cost to all of us.

Worsworth on blogging

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O reader! Had you in your mind. Such stores as silent thought can bring, O, gentle reader! You would find. tale in everything. William Wordsworth.

Overcoming inertia with love

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It is no mistake that the last chapter in my book is devoted to this old blog post about love in the workplace as it is the most important, and most often ignored, ingredient in making this stuff happen. Disorder, or at least emergent order, is in the nature of social tools. They don't just continue to grow under their own steam.

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Organisational Naivety

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Grappling with the human condition in hand to hand fighting is the lot of many a middle manager and there are some things that are painful and difficult to do - no matter how much you blog or tweet about them. This is why they get jumpy about suddenly being expected to open up and blog about everything - it is isn't going to happen.

So have I evolved?

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But one thought at a time, one conversation at a time, one blog post at a time I met up with my friend Jeff Hall this week for a coffee. used to feel guilty when asked this sort of question. felt somehow lacking because I wasn''t building a business, employing staff, aiming for the big figure buy out. Long may it continue. And what is "this"?

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Robots, Robber Barons and Luddites

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They can''t all blog, network, and become entrepreneurial! This post from Stowe Boyd points to some really interesting thinking on this issue. It also extends the problem from manual workers to "knowledge workers" as robots and automation replace many of the jobs that we currently educate our kids to fulfil. So what is the answer?

When is a blog not a blog?

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When is a blog not a blog? A. When it is a blog post. There is not much that brings out the pedant in me but when people refer to a blog post as a blog it drives me nuts! I get caught out all the time when someone says "Have you seen my new blog?"

Me and Linkedin

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Chris Brogan blogged recently about his decision to close his Linkedin account. This got me thinking, yet again, about whether I should do the same. . have been in Linked in for nine years, having been user number 1400 or so out of 100 million. Many otherwise interesting threads end up either spammy or "me too". . It feels bland and lifeless.

Signal to noise

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Instead I chose to write this blog post. I am sitting opposite a city gent who has obviously just had a cigarette before joining the train. The smell is overpowering and I was tempted to write one of those witty observational tweets you see so often during commuting time. found myself thinking "Is this it?

Using the iPad Air as my main machine

Euen Semple

If I was writing anything longer than articles or blog posts I would miss Scrivener more than I am but the promised arrival of Scrivener for iPad next year was part of what made me make the leap. It is now a couple of weeks that I have been using my new iPad Air as my main computer - and I have to say I am loving it. Keyboard Case. iCloud.

Me and my inner Scot

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Whether it is religion or IT, those who read this blog will have seen me shape myself by the strength of my reaction to these two groups, and some of you will no doubt have winced to watch me do so. The highlight of my speaking gig this week on board the cruise ship Aurora was getting to meet and spend time with the author Maria Nemeth.

Blogging and leadership

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have long thought that good blogging is somewhere between poetry and essays. The activity of blogging calls on the writer to develop a heightened awareness of their surroundings and to work out their reactions to those surroundings. And not just reading poetry but writing it.

Every journey.

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They read case studies, write strategies, spend loads of money on tools - but when you ask them if they blog you get a blank look. I am often struck by the way people circle around social media in business. Part of me knows you don't have to have done something yourself to manage it. What do you think? The Web At Work

Literate Business

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This is what blogging or tweeting makes easier. David Weinberger once said that through blogging we were "writing ourselves into existence" maybe this is what we are seeing happen in the world of work There's something wrong with all of the names we use to describe the use of social web tools in business. It also makes it collective.

A doctrine of small steps

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What tweet, update or blog post, no matter how trivial or apparently inconsequential, might make the greatest difference to those around us if we only dare to express it "Since death alone is certain, and the time of death uncertain, what should I do? Stephen Batchelor. But what small step can we take now?

My fantasy

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A business where everyone blogs. Everyone thinks about what they are doing and writes about what they are doing. From the top to the bottom, the edges to the middle. Everyone awake and bouncing off each other intellectually as they get more and more effective at whatever they do

Blogging and the Heart Of Darkness

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This might seem gloriously disconnected from the world of blogging but it is not … trust me. I sometimes wonder what it is that bugs me. What is it that drives me to do the work I do - because it does feel driven, something I am passionate about. Who or what am I reacting to? What windmills am I tilting at? and later]. Temperament, I suppose.

Authority and control

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If you are worried about security why not start blogging about why security matters and how to be secure? But we held our ground. We did it". One of the most interesting things about Egypt was what can be achieved by vast numbers of people with no overt leadership or common ideology if they get hacked off enough with the status quo. The

Dodgy characters

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Many moons ago I wrote a blog post asking: "Is it unfair to characterise the IT industry as dodgy characters in cheap suits selling wish fulfilment to out of their depth executives?". Sadly those guys have now moved on to package and sell social into the business world. This is not in anyone's long term best interests

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The real blogging revolution

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Another quote from Simon Parke which sums up for me the real power of social media: after most revolutions, only one more thing is required: a further revolution. There is no system of government that can improve the lot of unexamined lives. Unexamined lives are asleep to all things. So they may cry with passion and power, 'Reform the system!'

Can the web be taught?

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don't mean teaching people how to drive their browsers or how to use a blogging tool, though to be honest most people find even the basics unfamiliar, but more how to pass on what works in terms of using the web to achieve things and make the world a better place. And then.

Intellectual plankton and increasing my I/O

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also need to process faster and to write for my blog more often. I sometimes feel like an old cheap computer whose I/O just isn't up to snuff. just can't process stuff fast enough. usually have at least two "real" books on the go and Kindle books that I am reading on my phone in snatched moments. But why?

The passing of time

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Robert Paterson wrote a moving blog post this week about his dog Jay who he had to have put down a couple of years ago. In it he writes of the inevitability of things coming to an end. We all act as if life was a blank cheque that we never have to cash. We'll try next time. It'll be alright when x,y or z has happened.

Reflection

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Whether we like what we do with it or not it is a reflection of us as individuals, organisations and society and if we don't like what we are seeing then that is what we have to deal with." I have also always loved David Weinberger's description of blogging as "writing ourselves into existence". What I do with those reactions is up to me

The power of words

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"Oh yes, blogging. That is just people sharing their opinion.". Opinions matter, ideas matter, sharing them matters. Why should only experts or journalists get to shape our thinking? We have outsourced our thinking to professionals for too long.

Risk

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used to satisfy my need for risk riding fast motorbikes, then in a more modest form playing sax in a pop band, then climbing hills in all weathers, now I get to write the odd challenging blog post and stand on stages. love mountains, I love them even more in the snow, and I love risk. It's not the same.