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Who Else Wants a Blog that Gets Read Every Hour?

April 15, 2007

Most blogs are Blah Blogs filled with Blogwash. It’s stunning how few blogs offer value to their readers. However, I’ve just found a blog that I’m checking almost every hour. Would you like to have a blog like that?

Pat Walters has a great idea – and he’s putting it to work this weekend. Pat is a Naughton Fellow at the Poynter Institute. You can find The Poynter Institute at www.poynter.org. If you do that today, Sunday, April 15, you will see a large tickler ad for his blog right at the top of the web page.

The ad says, “NWW: 48 Tips in 48 Hours. Pat Walters is blogging from the National Writers Workshop in Hartford, Conn., this weekend. His mission? To gather up you the best reporting and writing ideas he can find and publish them along the way.”

If you are reading this article later than April 15, here is the link to NWW: 48 Tips in 48 Hours.

Do you ever attend conferences, meetings and events that the readers of your blog can’t attend? Do you then write a summary article or two covering the events and your impressions? We do.

But, we’re all going to have to get over it, because Pat Walters has changed the game – and presented you with a perfect way to get readers to hang on your every word.

Here’s how he set the stage:

“Hundreds of writers are gathering in Hartford, Conn., this weekend for the first of this year’s National Writers Workshops. I’ll be flying up to join them Friday. Here’s a list of speakers and the schedule.”

Then he told his readers what he would offer them:

“The plan is simple. Track down 48 useful reporting and writing tips in 48 hours and publish them here in real-time. I’m looking for the practical stuff you can take to work with you on Monday morning.”

Finally, he invited his readers to participate:

“I’ll sit in on sessions. Question presenters. I’ll go after people I meet in the hallways, the lobby and the bar… But it’ll be even easier — and pretty darn cool — if you come to me first. Visit the blog and comment, ask a question, leave a tip of your own. Tell me if you think I’ve found a good one, or if I post something lame.”

The minute I found out what he was going to do – he had me. I’ve been checking in as often as I can this weekend to see what he finds at the conference. It’s almost been like being there.

We’d give our eyeteeth to go to the Writer’s Workshop, but loved the idea that he was going to be there for us. How good an idea is that?!

Yes, we posted a comment on his blog and wrote him an email. Hey, he asked for it! We asked him to look for tips on “shoe-leather reporting.” Our Flat World friend, Thomas Friedman, has written “whether you’re writing news, opinion or analysis, if it isn’t based on shoe-leather reporting, it isn’t worth a bucket of beans.”

We believe that single sentence could redeem the world of Blah Blogs and Blogwash. And, certainly, Pat Walters has just found a way to “shoe-leather” report in a very big, very new way. Make no mistake, though, Pat is very humble and says he certainly didn’t invent the idea:

“I’m surely not the first one to take something like this on. And by the end of the weekend, we’ll all see whether I’m capable of delivering what I’ve promised.”

Read the results here at www.poynter.org/48 and judge for yourself. We’re halfway through the conference this Sunday morning – and haven’t had to pay for the flight, hotel or food, and haven’t had to muscle our way in to find a good seat. Pat has helped us attend the National Writers Workshop in Hartford without ever attending.

So, next time you go to a conference simply bring your readers along with you.

Please note: This coming weekend I’ll be attending the 21st Annual AIIP Conference, April 18th – 22nd, 2007, Minneapolis, MN. That’s the Association of Independent Information Professionals. While I can’t be at the whole conference (and Sheryl has family obligations in Denver) I’ll do my best to make Pat proud with my own “shoe-leather” reporting. Post a comment here or email me at michael@goldencompass.com and let me know what questions you’d like me to ask or sessions you’d like to know more about. I’ll look for practical tips that you can put to use for your business the very next day.

Please also note: We’ve written about the Poynter Institute’s mission in several other lblog articles. It didn’t seem appropriate to link to them here because this is about Pat Walters. The Poynter Institute is worth learning about for any business person – or anyone. You can search our blogs for “Poynter” or read this article:
When Speakers Do Their Job

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One comment

  1. What a tremendous idea for serving readers with relevant, timely information. I have a question to pass along to the AIIP attendees:
    The information technology industry seems to be changing moment-by-moment and changes dramatically every year or two (if even that long). What does the successful “independent information professional” do to stay on top of the important trends without becoming overwhelmed by the scope of change?
    Thanks for your always-useful thoughts and information!
    Karen



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