Should a blog reflect more than one persona?
Last week, I had practically written an obituary for this website, and was planning on integrating my personas on the blog at daviding.com. Reversing myself (as I’ve done before), I’ve decided that it makes more sense to maintain a professional persona (of interest to business thinkers) in addition to my non-work persona. There’s two motivations for this.
Firstly, I once asked a person I respect why he doesn’t read blogs. He said that it’s because it seems that there are lot of people blogging about their cats (or other irrelevant topics). I was reading Luis Suarez’s blog about the IBM blogroll list, and it occurred to me that while my family isn’t particularly interested in my workday activities, my professional colleagues may not be that interested in the photoblogging on travel and family in my personal life.
Secondly, I think that the reason that people don’t read blogs is that they’re web-based interfaces that readers have to remember to check. The best remedy for this is an RSS reader, but most business professionals are more comfortable with their e-mail clients, and haven’t seen a reason to switch. I’ve found a great solution to this on WordPress with the Email Notification Plugin. It sends a teaser to subscribers â€” without necessarily sending the whole entry. This is a great solution, it doesn’t support the complexity of satisfying multiple groups with different interests. Thus, the next best alternative is … two blogs.
In taking this new direction, I’m not precluding either Doug or Martin from blogging on this site, but I think that you’ll see over time that my professional persona will become more dominant here. You’ll already see this with the change in look-and-feel (to parallel the other blog, for lower maintenance!) as well as aggregators in the right column of both blogs the cross-link the entries. In addition, there are pointers to two other web sites where I’m putting some effort: on the Rendez research project on innovation; and on the Semkibs community on service engineering and management with a focus on Knowledge-Intensive Business Services. (They also support RSS readers … if you’re one of those people who use one!)