Use blogs to make yourself viral offline


Phew, I’m back in english after a brief finnish conference blogging spree. Sometimes I wonder if I need a finnish blog for cases where it’s more appropriate and doesn’t turn off my english readers (hope you are still there icon smile Use blogs to make yourself viral offline )… Well, I just doubt I would have the energy to do both. Better one good blog than two average.

Idea of today comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Hugh Mcleod. Very often his posts make no sense (like this one), but periodically he sprouts gems that you can’t miss. Here is one about being viral:

…the better your blog, the less qualified I have to be in order to recommend you. The easier and less socially risky it is for me to spread your story. Because all I have to do is give the guy your link, and hopefully your blog does the rest.

Exactly. Blogs increase likelihood that people who read or know you will recommend you to their offline peers. Also, they are more likely to end up doing business with you if you have a good blog. It’s simple: following a hyperlink and connecting with the ideas presented there lower the transaction costs involved in getting to know you. A mere business card, email address or phone number often goes unused if there is no context provided that connects with the needs of the one who is wondering if the contact is really worthwhile or not.

After reading a blog you are also better off in making the first contact, as you know already something about the person’s underlying interests and worldview.

As Hugh points out, if someone asks you if you know anyone who is good in HR but you are not really that much into HR, it’s socially less risky to just point to a HR blogger, rather than giving the contact information of some HR person you know but hardly interact with.

We could also look this from the problem solving point of view: even if I don’t know any HR people or HR blogs personally, I can quickly use my blog searching skills and trusted online contacts to come up with a list of influential HR bloggers based on what others say about them. In the end:

  • I can say “yes I think I know where to find one” instead of “no I don’t know”
  • From learning point of view what I know is not only internal but also distributed externally
  • I get a solution to the problem with minimal effort
  • I gain social capital as my friend will own me a favor
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