I’m a poor writer, but I read lots of great technical blogs that I would like to share with people I know and maybe add my thoughts on what they have written. Any idea how I can do this in a way that helps both me and the bloggers I like to read?
First, thanks for emailing me your question and I hope my answer is of value to you and others. I applaud your interest in sharing your thoughts with others and your wish to give appropriate credit to those who write the blogs you read and like. This is a great combination.
First, let me address your comment that you consider yourself a poor writer. The ability to write, like most other skills in life, improves with practice. Certainly there are people to whom writing comes naturally, truth be told, like you, I wish I was one of them. Just like a tennis player can improve his/her game by taking lessons and practice what they have learned, writers can dramatically enhance their craft by taking advice from others, formalized training, watching YouTube videos, and practice, practice, practice. I would suggest you begin writing a personal journal related to the blogs you read and your personal thoughts on their content. If you do, you will find that, in time, your writing will improve. You will develop
• Standard turns of phrase you like to use • Formulaic blog structures that help you convey your thoughts • Comfort with your written voice in a way that’s different, yet complementary and connected, to the way you speak
By no means am I qualified to teach writing. In fact, teachers of mine from my youth would be very surprised (if not in total disbelief) that I now enjoy writing and consider it a personal skill.
Given your question, one of the best ways to combine your own thoughts with the thoughts of other writers is to become a “technical curator”. What I mean by this term is to write your own blog, with your own thoughts, and include references with hyperlinks to the blogs you are describing. For example, I’ll reference my last week’s column Is an MBA or Masters in Computer Science worth the time and money? .
This combination of your own thoughts and link to blogs you like, meet both of your specified criteria.
There are many advantages of taking this approach for both you and the authors of the blogs you reference. For the authors of your referenced blogs, your comments and reference add credibility and potentially traffic to their blog site. For you, as the curator, the advantages are many, including the following:
1. It provides an appropriate and respectful way to reference the blogs you like without taking their content as your own. 2. The original blog’s author may Tweet your blog or reference it in one of his/her future blogs as a thank you. This, is turn, has the potential to increase your readership and followers. 3. It begins to move you toward becoming an online resource for information in your chosen topic area. For example, if you write four curator-type blogs that reference two blogs each, then your followers will have access to twelve columns on the related topic. The math works as follows: (your 4 blogs + (your 4 blogs X 2 referenced blogs each) = 12 total blogs. 4. It provides you the opportunity to reach out to the bloggers/writers you respect and get their input on a topic you would like to author. Thus, making personal connections and contacts with other known people in your professional area.
Good luck with your writing and I look forward to reading your first posted curated blog.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to build your professional brand.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.