Every evening at my cottage the crows gather in a nearby ravine and create a terrific noise with their cawing, crowing and cackling. I guess you have to be a crow to understand the significance of this ritual. They are communicating with each other, I presume, but to the general annoyance of their human neighbours. Does the trend to blog, email, chatter, tweet, discuss, comment, friend, unfriend, linkin create a similar annoyance to those who don’t understand social media?
Not far from that crow’s ravine, a long steep trail leads to a secluded beach. As children, we sometimes talked, other times raced each other down the path but at the same turn in the road, we would always be startled by the sudden flutter of large wings and very loud “caw” to announce our descent through private crow territory. It always fascinated me that a crow was watching us and thought it important to tell other crows. We, of course, responded with loud “caws” of our own. Shortly, we would hear other crows along the shore, cawing and we would see them flying away.
I feel somewhat the same about blogging. Am I the crow that caws about something that is important to me and no one else? If I caw loudly enough will the other crows hear me and respond? Why would they be interested?
In my previous writing endeavors there were few opportunities for readers to respond to my prose. Columns in business papers, articles in magazines or newspapers, media releases, business profiles seldom generated any feedback. Admittedly, they were not controversial articles, either!
I readily admit, it has taken me some time to get my mind around the concept of blogging. Rob Clark of the Elusive Fish says “these networked conversation are enabling powerful forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
Sharing information, it seems to me, is one of the great values of blogging. Over the past several months, I have followed these new trends and watched how they benefit businesses and individuals. In some work environments, social media still plays no role in daily work activities and it may never be appropriate in some workplaces. Many blogs reinforce similar messages. Tweeters, re-tweet information from one site to another group of people – just like to crows relaying the message to other crows. Others respond with comments and further insights, so that topics are discussed in greater depth. It is the participation of others that provides the value to the readers.
When we took long family trips in the car, my father took delight in spotting three crows sitting in a tree and he would launch into song “there were three crows sat on a tree.” We would all join in with a resounding “caw, caw, caw” at the end and he would produce a very realistic “caw” sound – to our great delight. As a result, I was always on the look out for crows so that we could sing together.
As a corporate communications specialist I create success for my clients using the written word. In the course of operating my business, I attend networking events, seminars, association meetings and trade shows where people gather and discuss issues face-to-face. Perhaps I will be the crow that announces some news, or maybe I’ll just be one of the crows in the tree repeating interesting news about the issues of the day.
This blog will contribute to that phenomenon of interactive electronic conversations.
“A mile as the crow flies, but three miles by this mountain road” is a term from the 1700s that refers to the most direct route. It looks to me as if blogging is the new most direct route to clients, colleagues and potential clients.