Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Blogs, Social Networks and LinkedIn Answers

I received a great question from someone relative to my last post - Required Reading for Training Managers where I continue to suggest the benefits of blogging (see Blogging - I'm Pushing Harder Now and Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog for recaps of much of this). The question was:
What is your assessment of the relative benefits of pure blogging vs LinkedIn Answers and other social networking platform-based discussion venues?
I consider LinkedIn Answers to be quite a different animal. The way I use LinkedIn Answers is to ask specific questions (never open ended or partially thought out the way I do in a blog) that I want to get specific answers or find people with expertise who I can't seem to find by searching LinkedIn normally. This question goes only to my network and then also out to the rest of the world who look at Answers. It's a great way to get help on specific inquiries. But, it's just that.

For example, the question above would probably be okay in LinkedIn Answers, but you might want to change it a bit to be more specific.

LinkedIn Answers is limited in time and does not create any kind of sustained conversation. But it does work across both your own and your indirect network.

Social Network based discussions (for example a Ning network) act like communities. I've had several posts talking about the differences of conversation in communities and those via blogs (network-based discussion). I'd look at:
There's a fair amount to consider around the differences. To me blogging is a great engine for network-based conversation and continuous learning. You likely can use a community the same way, but most people don't.

Likely looking at how to Learn and Network with a Blog ways to promote Blog Discussion
and Types of Blog Discussions are also good pieces.

It still comes down to a personal style, commitment level (to sustained learning).

But Wendy and Karyn will tell you it has high value for them. Of course, we all know they are both pretty weird.

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