Collaborative blogging isn't how I started out writing the Brainzooming blog. It began as a creative outlet before leaving corporate life behind. Doing it was creative, but pretty solitary. Since then, I've written for several multi-author blogs, which are still pretty solitary experiences too. While there are multiple authors and fewer deadlines (since you don't have to write as frequently yourself to maintain a steady flow of content) there hasn’t been any meaningful content coordination or planned interaction among authors. Contrast these multi-author blogs with writing collaborative blogs. They take the benefits of having multiple writers and add to it with planning, strategy, and editorial calendars to actively create and manage content.
The stark differences don't end there. The two blogging approaches differ materially in at least seven ways.
The typical multi-author blog has:
- A vague sense of who the blog's target audience is and what's of interest to them.
- Only rough blogging guidelines governing the authors' efforts.
- A mix-and-match approach to writing styles among the authors actively contributing.
- No editorial plan - so subject matter coordination happens by accident, if at all.
- Challenges in coordinating content submissions for timely publishing.
- Potentially uneven editing, with it being done individually, by an ad hoc editor, or not at all.
- A blogging platform intended for individual efforts being forced to fit with a multiple contributor environment, often with publishing responsibility heaped on one person.
Contrast this with a strategic, collaborative blog which features:
- A well-developed persona (or potentially multiple ones) to guide audience-based content creation.
- A team inside the organization is trained in blogging and contributes to the collaborative blogging effort's strategic direction.
- Individual writing styles are arranged and balanced for a better reader experience.
- Subject matter coordinated to deliver a more strategic mix of content.
- A planned calendar with posts in reserve to ensure a consistent publishing schedule.
- A designated blog admin and review process ensure the content is strong, compelling, and well-written.
- A collaborative blogging application which facilitates reminders, content management, and multiple contributors actively participating.
Rather than simply writing and publishing stories, collaborative blogging can be a powerful, cultural unifier internally, and provide a way to share compelling stories with an external audience. It can be the primary engine in telling the rest of an organization’s stories – the stories which don’t fit in a brochure or a press release.
Look for more on collaborative blogging as we continue to develop and refine them for clients and move the Brainzooming blog in that direction too. – Mike Brown
The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.