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August 29, 2008

Blogging for Fun and Business

I have been blogging for a couple of years now. I started out with a Blog on my own industry, which was pretty successful. We started to get some real momentum up (we means me and my wife by the way) and then we ran into some roadblocks.

And of course, as you get more attention…you get more attention.

For some reason every time I posted something it would have a negative effect within my employer. I am not too sure exactly why and I have really tried to work it out, but they didn’t like it at all. Maybe they don’t get the whole Web 2.0 thing, or maybe it is just a control thing.

Anyway, that's when I started to post on the Consulting industry, and the skills involved to be a good consultant.

I thought I had something to say in this area. I came from nowhere, literally, and have enjoyed a pretty good career. It has seen me travel the world a number of times, gain a reputation within my own sector and area, and gradually move from speaking to technical people to advising the leaders of industry within my realms of existence.

I have earned well over the years and I get to travel to interesting places and speak to like minded people about what I enjoy most. So as a consultant I have done okay. On my way I started and sold a marketing company, a few small one man firms here and there, and wrote a number of books.

So I thought I had something to say about the whole thing.

The Blog for me was, and is, a hobby first and foremost.

I like writing, I like writing in a personable fashion, and I like the interaction that comes from having a Blog. So it is all good.

But on the way I learned yet another good lesson about modern marketing practices. (There seems to have been a dramatic increase in the number of things I know very little about)

That is that people today are not looking for impartial and cold articles, nor are they looking for theoretical studies from people who have never been involved in anything.

As the world becomes smaller, and new technologies enable us to connect in so many ways; the thing people seem to be looking for is community.

My marketing company in Latin America ended up this way. It started out as a website with a few technical articles on it and a discussion forum for maintenance and reliability professionals in the region.

I didn’t expect too much from it and, as always it seems, it was a hobby for me at first.

But there was a dynamic there I hadn’t been aware of. In that part of the world people working in these areas were considered the lowest of the low. Their skills were not valued as highly as in my home country of Australia, and they were desperate to have some way of demonstrating the value they gave to their companies.

The site was a huge hit. Within three months it was attracting around 100,000 visitors a month and easily converted into a marketing opportunity on its own. The sense of community was incredible, and it is something that I have never forgotten.

I later sold it, which I regret in a way, to a company specializing in these areas. I think it has done okay, although it now looks almost as it did when I sold it. The sense of community fell away, and with it the magic of the site also dissipated.

With Consulting Pulse I am hoping to create the same sense of community. Tapping into all of the Web 2.0 tools that I am able to, I am aiming at creating an online community that speaks directly to consultants all over the world, no matter whether they are employees, freelancers, company owners or whatever.

So far we seem to be doing well. Subscriptions are steadily rising, newsletter subscriptions are growing, and we are adding features all the time that are enabling us to continue to offer other ways for us to continue the conversation.

It has been great fun so far.

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