DO, SHARE: Why I blog (and you should too.)

Just recently I hit an unexpected milestone. 

This blog has clocked-up more than 50,000 page views in the past 21 months.

Considering it was only ever written for two men and a dog that’s something I’m falling off my chair at.

Mind, that figure is skewed by a single crowd sourced blog post on what I should tell colleagues sceptical about Twitter. That got RT’d by @twitter itself and pinged to its 5.4 million followers.

But what it did do was make me think of why I started blogging in the first place. What has resulted and why I think others should too.

There are 98 million words a day posted to WordPress blogs, 53 per cent of bloggers are aged 25 to 35, according to Mashable.

Why did I start blogging?

Because I was getting a fund of information from them myself and wanted to add to that stream.

Because I saw blogs that I admired from colleagues. Like Alastair Smith, Dave Briggs, Carl Haggerty and Sarah Lay.

Because I similarly felt I had something to say and share.

Because something on Liz Azyan’s excellent blog prompted me to take the plunge.

Because – most importantly – I bet @jaynehowarth who was similarly dithering that if I didn’t I’d send her cake.

Some of my blogs have been absolute stinkers. Some I’m proud of. One I even wrote in a car park in Solihull. All have been written in my spare time.

What’s been the benefit?

Valuable thinking time.  An online notebook to refer back to. Having a voice. Shouting about some of things we’ve done or others have done well.

There’s been the unexpected spin-offs too. A chance to speak on interesting subjects to interesting people at interesting places. I’ve a vague feeling this may be a help to my career at some point down the track.

Why YOU should blog

For all the above reasons. But mostly because we’re all learning. All of us. There are no experts. There’s just shared knowledge. Your view is a just as important.  There’s not a blog post I’ve read by someone in local government I’ve not learned something from.

Because with platforms like WordPress it’s pretty straightforward.

Because it’ll give you skills for the future. Whether you write about local government things or, like Kate Goodall, a blog on parks you take your dog for a walk in.

Because ‘do stuff then share it’ is a good thing to aspire to.

Because none of us are experts on everything. But we do know about our tiny corner of the allotment and by sharing it we get a sense of the bigger picture.

Creative commons credits

Tomato http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2178363927/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Sky writing http://www.flickr.com/photos/floridamemory/3328074451/sizes/m/in/faves-danieldslee/

Red tulip Erica Marshall of muddyboots.org

http://www.flickr.com/photos/erica_marshall/469245453/sizes/l/in/photostream/


12 Comments on “DO, SHARE: Why I blog (and you should too.)”

  1. Dudley CMC says:

    I couldnt agree more with you, I think you covered most of the reasons I took a ‘dip in the water’ and have never looked back. Yes, there have been some posts where I think why did I press the ‘publish’ button but overall like yours I think someone somewhere may benefit from it and if they dont at least I have. Keep up the good work.

    • Dan Slee says:

      Thanks, Tony. That’s really, really good of you to say. I’m not saying this lightly, but the West Midlands Police are world leaders in the stuff. Your excellent blog and Twitter is just one example of that.

      As a West Midlands resident I appreciate it two fold. Firstly, I’m being told about what is going on in the area I live and work in. Second, with my work hat on I’m appreciating such a good example of how to communicate as a human being using the web in 2011. Hooking up a press release RSS feed to Twitter to tweet the first 140 characters just doesn’t achieve that…

  2. Thanks for the tweet: I did miss this earlier and I appreciate what you say and the links you give here. I’m trying to develop an understanding of #LocalGov both for where I livre (Barnet – much in the news, lately) and Bournemouth – which has surprisingly endorsed the http://www.EarthCharterUK.org and where we now have to help them realise its objectives.
    The work you and others are doing to help move beyond simply slagging off councils is extremely important. We need partnerships and collaborative working – e.g. with the Police as you’ve shown.
    So much needs to change and quickly but we’re in this together…

    • Dan Slee says:

      Cheers, Jeffrey.

      Yes, partnership working. But real partnership working where you see the whites of people’s eyes…

  3. Whilst not blogging in the local government field, I think your phrase:‘do stuff then share it’ is exactly why I blog – before I started I’d read stuff i was interested in on other blogs. Now, I blog about stuff I’ve done, seen heard and others come to my blog to finid out about it- and they conme again and again.
    keep it up!

    http://thumbrella.blogspot.com

  4. Kelly says:

    Great article, Dan. Blogging is great for all of the reasons you listed and the overall message is that it brings people together. By sharing your thoughts it enables people to respond and share their thoughts on certain subjects or experiences. You make a very good point how people aren’t ‘experts’ and people simply blog to share what they have to say. I recently launched a website – http://www.whyiblog.com – that serves as a platform to connect bloggers by sharing why they blog. If would would like feel free to look around and maybe even make a contribution. It’s awesome that your blog has received 50,000 page views, keep up the good work!

  5. Hi Dan,

    This post is excellent – as is your blog. It’s finally given me that final nudge and I’m starting to get my own blog going. Thank you very much😉

    As you say in an earlier post, a comms person who does not understand or use social media is going to become rapidly redundant.

    In PR Week today, the digital supplement includes the comment that “Only half-jokingly, BBC director of global news Peter Horrocks tells his journalists: ‘Be on Twitter or be sacked.’ V interesting, and perhaps the sign of things to come for PR people?

    • Dan Slee says:

      Cheers, Kelly! Really glad you’ve taken the plunge. It’s a useful traneferrable skill to have. Didn’t know Peter Horrocks had said that. That’s significant and part of a wider trend. It’s not the one skilled journalist or PR person. It’s the multi-skilled one.

  6. […] the guilt of not detailing the walk walk walking for a while, despite nudges from the likes of Dan Slee and Brownhills Bob ! Just blogged about Pleck Park, so hopefully they’ll give me a bit of […]

  7. […] reason I’m writing this now is mainly because I read a blog by someone called Dan Slee. Dan works in comms for Walsall Council and is one of the most […]

  8. […] media and I continue to learn from it.  The other is Dan Slee. I started blogging after he wrote this post, which also recommended I read this post on blogging.  Since then, I have been writing this blog […]

  9. […] Why I Blog And You Should Too – Sets out why I do this and still do. […]


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