Blogging Outside of the Blogosphere

05/22/2005

Went to Robert's high school graduation on Saturday. A remark from the class president's speech turned on a blog light bulb. Seems a very smart teacher had included this question in a test: "Name one of the people in the cafeteria who serve you." The kids thought the teacher was joking. Nope. It was definitely a "for credit" question. Don't know how many got that one right but what a great lesson.

Got to thinking...in the blogosphere people are intense about sharing themselves with the virtual word at-large. But how many bloggers know the names of the people who they come into contact with on a regular basis? Do you know the name of your mail person? Your gardener? Your cleaner? Or the kid who  bags your groceries?

If the blogoshere's goal is to connect with people, shouldn't bloggers be setting examples by knowing the names of the people who "serve" them in the real-world (vs. the virtual world)?
Sidebar
: What do  bloggers call the world outside the blogosphere?

The flip side...how about equal emphasis on blogging with in-person customers? Do  bloggers engage in people-talk conversations with customers more frequently than others? If not, shame on us for being virtual elitists! Hmmm...perhaps we can call that customer care or customer service blog-style! Watch out Shel, I might have another business blog idea ;-)

 

 

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Comments

To 'know' a name has a button at my side, because I have trouble remembering names, while others remember every name ever heard. So I would always 'fail' on that question, while the other kind of person (not caring at all but with a better name memory) would be 'better'?

But let's go to the heart of your question: The extension for your question would be Do you know the name of your mail server admin? Your webhost providers accounting people? The names of the people working at Typepad?

And no, I don't think that you have to know a name or should care about that, as it only has a value if you do remember names.

Should I know the person behind it? I don't want to connect to the guy in the store if I don't have any reason for it. He or she is there. Unless he or she makes a difference to me, there is no reason for me to build up a relationship with any of them.

Just that person being there is not enough reason for me to care about that person.

And when we speak out to the world, we are not talking to the whole world - we are talking to the world we would like to connect with, and offer what we have and hope / work for it that others like it.

For the example in your test, I imagine, these are people being there over years serving in the cafeteria - that is another story.

But here also: I would much prefer the question "can you tell me something about this person" instead of just asking "tell me a name". "The woman with the nice blog" tells me much more than just "I know her name is Toby Bloomberg". :)

Posted by: Nicole Simon on May 23, 2005 12:11:32 PM

Dear Diva

I think it is interesting that you bring up the question of acknowledgement for the service persons in our lifes. I mean - I know my mail man - I talk with him, when I have a chance to. I like him. But I don’t know his name and I am not sure, I need to know it, to have an ok relation to him?

I wouldn't know how to tell him my name or how to ask him his? And to me that is equal to the fact that I would not send this comment to a complete stranger? I would not start talking to the cashier about media and different kinds of relationship at the supermarket counter? And yet - I don’t know you - and here I am - in your comments! Because I do know more about you, than I know of my mail man. You and I have some common interests and I know we share some sources for our knowledge, and we both read and write blogs!

You chose to have comments on your blog - I choose to think that is because you want to connect to your readers. It is making it easy for me - not because of the link that says “comments” - but because of the implicit message that says “talk with me about the things that I write here”. Because of the format of the blog. Mail men and cashiers don’t come with that feature - yet :-)

When I walk in to a bar I take a look around - and a lot of people look nice and interesting, but I know that the chances that they read blogs about marketing and PR are slim. :-) Therefore it is easier for me to “connect” to people via their blogs and arrange a meet-up in Copenhagen for bloggers - at least if what I want to talk about is blogging and PR! (If anyone reading this is going to copenhagen for the Reboot conference www.reboot.dk - do send me an e-mail and lets meet up)

Another great thing about forming blog relationships is that you can’t see, that I am actual nervous about talking to you (knowing that your blog is cool, and you are cool - and I am writing in a foreign language and blablabla).

I started thinking about this aspect of “facelessness” after reading a post on Alyson Schäfers blog about parenting: http://www.alyson.ca/tips/2005/05/17/iming-can-be-a-useful-parenting-tool
In it she explains how she sometimes finds, that her children will talk to her about their thoughts and experiences on msn/chat more freely, than they do face-to-face at the dinner table. And the more I think about it, I find that it is true not only for children.

My point is that in the global village, you and I might get to have a closer relationship than my mail man and I - and in my humble opinion that is because blogging is not about connecting to everyone - blogging is about building relationships - and I am not sure I would want that with the lady next door or the mail man or the bus driver (notice I am not saying I don’t want it - I am just stating that it should be based on some meaningful, relevant topics - for me and for them - to have ongoing conversations about!)

/Trine-Maria

Posted by: Trine-Maria Kristensen on May 23, 2005 12:35:13 PM

Service people? In today's world - how many of us know our neighbors' names??? That said, not to sound snobby - but the blog is a mutual self-qualifier. If they're coming to my blog, talking to me (either virtually or live) about it, visiting my web site - I know we've got something in common - or at least some points of interest. I'm using the blog as a biz dev tool - helps me to have a friendly, virtual sales person that can break the ice. If you like my blog, chances are you'll want to do biz with with me. "You like me, you really, really like me." - yeah, we laughed, but the woman won an Academy Award because they did like her...

Posted by: Mary Schmidt on May 23, 2005 7:18:46 PM

You all make great points about the ease in developing virtual relationships and the comfort level that blogging brings to beginning new relationships.

Perhaps it's not do you know the "name" but as Nicole suggested, what do you have in common that would lend itself to developing a relationship.

Still from the perspective of customer relationships in the "real world", we can learn a lesson from blogs on how to "people talk" better. Perhaps a prospect will then want to know your brand/product/service better because they like you. As Mary pointed out, some people do get it and there's even a name for for "it" - relationship selling.

Yes, Trine-Maria, the ability to create our own mini global villages based on common intersts is one of the best rewards of blogging!

Okay y'all have given me more to think about...thanks!

Posted by: Toby on May 23, 2005 7:40:49 PM

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