What I’m up to and where I’m at with blogging


Blogging is both rewarding and frustrating. I can get my thoughts out as they emerge and get immediate feedback and engagement. But it is always hard to find the time to blog. I would love to blog more, but client deadlines, event organization, hiring staff, and far more end up being higher priority. Someone asked me recently if I thought of myself primarily as a blogger. Since I usually manage from one to a few posts a week, far from it. It’s something I try to fit in to a very packed schedule. It’s now well over a week since my last blog post, and it’s very frustrating given there’s so much I want to write about.

I always have a backlog of at least 20 blog posts I want to write, including drawing on recent media interviews, content generated during events, book chapters from Living Networks, speeches I deliver, specific topics I’m developing, and far more. On top of that, I like to get engaged in current blog discussions on a timely basis when they’re of special interest. As such the frequent requests I get from PR and other people to cover things extremely rarely cut through.

One of the hardest times is travel periods, when I get intensely stimulated, but find almost no time to write, with email and current projects filling all available gaps between meetings and client work. I just got back to Sydney this morning after a few days in LA and Silicon Valley, and while there is much that happened on the trip I’d love to write about, including my client project on Web 2.0 in the enterprise, meeting Khris Loux of the extremely interesting JS-Kit, some very stimulating discussions with a strategy executive from a major handset manufacturer, catching up with Chris Saad of DataPortability and Faraday Media, and much more, the reality is probably just a fraction of this will get written up on this blog.

I certainly can’t imagine stopping blogging. It’s getting on to six years now since I started my blog. From the outset I’ve believed in it as a medium, and it will continue to be at the core of how I communicate, combined with a melange of books, speaking, visual frameworks, videos, and more.

In the bigger picture of my life and work, I am mid-way through the process of shifting from being primarily an individual speaker, consultant, and author, to now building organizations that exist and thrive beyond me. Some of the ventures that Future Exploration Network and Advanced Human Technologies are doing or developing include virtual strategy consulting models, events, industry research, sponsored content, and paid content. In addition I am working on the first of what will hopefully be a series of online start-ups. The initial idea is very exciting – more on this soon.

I have always felt the tension between developing myself as the primary brand and service delivery mechanism, and growing organizations beyond myself. For a long time I held back from developing organizations because I thought the commitment in growing a company would mean I wouldn’t have the time to write books, which is central to what I want to do. While a massive investment of effort is required to build organizations to the point where they require less of my time and energy, I now think that is the better path to freeing myself up to be able to spend more time thinking and writing. Time will tell.

I would like my blog to be a bit more personal, but what I find is that I write blog posts only when there is something I feel I have to write, usually content that is created in the course of my work. I expect I’ll continue along those lines, though I’ll also experiment with new ways of getting interesting content up. So rather than feeling frustrated and trying to apologize every blog post for not writing more, I’ll save that for this blog post. If you read this blog regularly, it’s good for you to know a bit more of the context for my blogging activities. I’ll try to write posts like this about where I’m at a bit more frequently in future.

In the meantime, I have an extremely intense two months (at least) ahead of me, including a stack of travel, but I’ll do my best to keep the blog ticking over with some of the most interesting things I’m seeing out there. And that is precisely why the blog is so important to me. Just about every day I am staggered by the absolutely extraordinary things developing in the living networks, and sharing these is perhaps the best possible way of thinking them through for myself.

3 replies
  1. The Cynic
    The Cynic says:

    That’s a lot of self-indulgent words in place of stuff you bemoan you don’t have time to blog about….

  2. Jay Cross
    Jay Cross says:

    No, I’ll disagree with The Cynic. Ross’s words clearly are the stuff he wants to blog about. The issue is that there’s stuff left over that’s not making it into the blog.
    As to whether you define yourself as a blogger, what’s the appropriate criterion? One fantastic post a month trumps daily squiggles.
    I’ve found that the more spontaneous a blog post, the less time it takes to write. Your written pieces are well-reasoned so you undoubtedly put time into thinking them through.
    You might try writing more but shorter pieces. One main thought. One paragraph. Short but sweet. My usage logs tell me most people don’t stick around long enough to read eight well-crafted ‘graphs.

  3. Ross Dawson
    Ross Dawson says:

    Hmmm… yes as Jay says I blog what I feel like, and some people choose to read it. I do think a bit of context is useful.
    I’d like to do shorter posts Jay, but I find it hard to stop when there’s so much to say :-) Yes I will try to do that and experiment more.
    While I bemoan my lack of blogging time, I do expect to keep up a reasonable pace over the next few months – I’ll do my best anyway!

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