Guest Post: Understanding blogging is about understanding community

By Mack Collier

It’s happened to all of us.  We’ll go a day without posting at our blog.  Then before we know it the day has become two, then three.  When we finally get a chance to post again, we leave that post that all of us have left.

The ‘sorry about the lack of posts’ post.

But why do we feel the need to write that post?  My guess is because we bloggers see our visitors as more than numbers that are collected by SiteMeter or Google Analytics.  We see these people as a wonderful community that we have a relationship with.   And when we miss a few days, well we may feel that we have let our community down, and thus the apology.

Recently, there’s been some great discussion about measuring the effectiveness of social media.  These discussions are important and necessary in order to give companies and organizations valid tools and metrics that they can use to measure their social media efforts.

But in the end, these marketers need to keep in mind that succeeding with social media means connecting with people.  I cringe a bit when I hear marketers talk about measurement and statistics, because that’s applying a business mentality to an area that’s about connecting with and understanding people.

When I talk to businesses and corporations about blogging, I tell them not to think of blogging as a direct tool to grow their business, but as a community-building tool.  A tool that allows companies to better understand their customers, and that helps current and potential customers better understand the company.  Business growth is a pleasant by-product of connecting with your customers via blogging.

And that leads us back to why I am here.  Rohit was kind enough to invite several prominent marketing/pr/business bloggers (along with me) to fill in for him while he is away becoming a parent for the second time (congrats Rohit!).  Rohit did this because he felt an obligation to his community of readers to make sure that there was a steady stream of posts here for you guys in his absence.

I think there’s a great lesson there for companies; blogging is most effective when it focuses not on profits and business growth, but on the people.

Mack_collier Mack Collier is a social-media consultant who blogs at The Viral Garden.

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