I’ve struggled with my study this week. After the fortnightly, online #Fo09 meeting I understand why. Blogging networks form spontaneously over time between loosely associated fellow travellers. They’re not necessarily the formal networks I’ve found so easily.
My research took me to formal networks where people are blogging on a single platform. Somebody comes up with a bright idea of attracting bloggers to share their thoughts in one place. Unless the formula is spot-on, there’s a tendency for these types of formal networks to rapidly go stale.
The network I looked at listed over 600 bloggers. Around 15% contributed five or more posts, with a couple of superstars in the hundreds. The vast majority just one. Many of these were old posts. And there was tonnes of competition for your attention, with the same group having a LinkedIn group, Facebook page, etc.
Putting two and two together I suspect there was a conference or promotional push or some sort, people signed up, then…. silence.
If I can I’ll report on a talk with one of the bloggers on a shared platform.
With a new insight gleaned from our meeting I’ve decided to pay more attention to local bloggers talking about the same sorts of topics as me. I’m not sure if I’m joining or forming a blogging network so I guess the best thing to do is get started.
The concept of networking weaving – which Beth Kanter talks about quite often (for starters see “Some Thoughts About Effective Networking Online”), as well as being raised by Sarah (see “Getting our heads around blogging”) – appeals much more than having my very own ‘personal’ network. I see this as much putting in touch, as asking and conversing.
I have the same sort of worry that Debra Maddock’s raises: “once the connections are started, you just have to keep on the tracks and never get off, otherwise it will be too hard to reconnect”.
No rush…. I guess strong relationships, even virtual ones, take time to form.