Archive for the ‘writing’ category

2011: A writer’s odyssey

6 December 2011

Wow! 2011 was a big year of writing for me, with 2 self-published books and over 40 blog posts.

My books are available on Amazon, and I have listed the year’s blog posts below for your convenience.

Thanks for reading!

Tag cloud

Social media

Social media extremism
Smash your wall
My Twitter hero
Who owns the photocopiers?
20 hot resources for customer-facing social media
LATI: A better way to measure influence on Twitter?
A circular argument
The big myth of social networking
Foching up social media

Mobile learning

The 4 S’s of mobile design
Mobile learning – Push or pull?

Informal learning

Viva la evolution
Doctoring the Informal Learning Environment

Content development

Toying with emotion
14 reasons why your multiple-choice quiz sucks
3 hot resources for best practice multiple-choice quizzing
The 2 sources of freebies
Australia’s Nobel Laureates
On the Money

Books and e-books

When is an e-book not a book?
E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 1

Awards and events

ElNet Workplace E-learning Congress 2011
I’m a Best Australian Blogs nominee!
When it rains it pours
8 interesting things at CeBIT
Everything connects at Amplify
Winners are grinners


Selective democracy
Where’s Waldo? – The Minimalist Edition
Foolproof hiding spot for your key
Recent changes patroller
Respect for Klout


Top 5 things I hope not to hear in 2011
Observations of a Critical Theory newbie
The Parable of the Monkeys
Ode to the naysayers
The A to Z of learning
Learning vs Development
Eye of the tiger
Does L&D belong in HR?
When augmented reality isn’t
Psst…! 15 inside tips for sales reps
A question of leadership development
The unscience of evaluation
Clash of the titans

My 4 pillars of blogging

20 April 2010

I have been blogging for some time now, and I can honestly say that it’s been a growth journey.

I started blogging primarily for myself – essentially to organise and articulate the thoughts in my own head. If others were to draw anything useful from that, well that’s a bonus.

Guiding principles

Recently, a few people have been asking me for blogging advice, mainly around getting started. This got me thinking…

What are my guiding principles for blogging?

I believe blogging is about being honest with yourself, so what values or standards to I hold myself to?

After a period of deep reflection, four overarching themes shone through. I call these my 4 pillars of blogging.

1. Be bold

This is the advice that Wikipedia gives to its contributors, and I love it!

There’s no room for shrinking violets on the Internet.

If you’ve got an opinion, let’s hear it. It’s just as valid as anyone else’s.


2. Add something new

There’s no point being an echo chamber. Thousands of other bloggers are happily doing that.

Your blog should build the collective knowledge bank, not merely repeat it.

If you want to write about a particular topic – even a popular one – go for it. Just find your unique angle: Maybe an aspect no one else considered? Perhaps an insight based on your personal experience?


3. Challenge your own content

After you’ve written something, challenge its accuracy.

Did someone report supporting evidence in the academic literature? Have you seen it with your own eyes? Or is it just your opinion?

If it’s the latter, that’s fine – just make it transparent.

You’ll be surprised how many bloggers dress their opinions as fact.


4. Formulate a 1-liner

If you can’t summarise your blog post into a single sentence, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.

Take a step back, reflect on the key message you are trying to convey, and maybe jot down some bullet points.

Then distill that into a 1-liner.

You might even use it as your opening line.


Let it flow

While the 4 pillars provide a useful framework for blogging, please don’t take them too seriously.

For me, a blog post isn’t meant to be a lab report or a journal article. In contrast, it’s a forum for free thought – something very rare in this fast paced, time poor, ultra standardised world.

I typically germinate my blog posts with a central idea, then I start writing off the cuff. Only after I have some sense of the body do I apply the 4 pillars retrospectively and tighten up the prose.

Have a go

If you already write a blog, I hope my advice helps you.

If you don’t yet write a blog but are thinking about it, I say to you in true Aussie style: “Have a go!”

You will embark on a journey of growth not only as a person, but also as a thought leader.