Yesterday I shared how Claudia Escribano writes Buzzin' on the Biz, a bi-weekly summary for her company of what's going on in the blogosphere on topics related to training and instructional design. Today I want to do a follow-up post on how she does it and what she's gained from the experience. Here's the rest of her email interview with me.
About how long does it take you to pull together all of the articles for Buzzin' on the Biz?
It takes about 2-3 hours. About 2 hours to scan through all the blogs-- it depends on how distracted I get. If I go off on a tangent, it can take longer, but it's fun. Last year, Karl Kapp and someone else had pulled together a PageFlakes site with a bunch of training blogs, so that helps me to scan through them all quickly. There are a couple of others that I just check on my own. I could probably automate that a bit better.
What's your process? How do you pull it all together?
As I scan through the blogs, I jot down the topics and group related topics, which helps me see what areas are hot. I also grab the URLs for entries that I think I might want to feature in the Bytes section. Once I'm done scanning through all the blogs, I've got most of the Buzz written in Word. I just have to paste it into our internal blog and clean it up a bit. I always use the same format, so that makes it easier. The first time was definitely the hardest.
How have your colleagues responded to Buzzin' on the Biz?
I haven't really gotten any reaction yet. The idea is for people to add to the Buzz whenever they see a news item they want to share. We originally had the Buzz on a wiki, but decided that a blog worked better because it allowed for a conversation to develop around the posts. In our internal blog, anyone can start a post, so when people see something they want to share, they can post it there instead of sending out a mass e-mail. Right now, there about 3 people who are contributing to the internal blog.
This week, I plan to award a Bodacious Buzzer prize to one guy who's been contributing a lot--to encourage others to contribute. I think this is one of those things that may take some time to catch on. So, I just plan to consistently offer up the info, and I think over time, they'll see the value.
Do you feel like working on Buzzin' on the Biz has had benefits for you?
ABSOLUTELY!!! I am learning so much by doing this that even if no one else ever uses it, it's still worth it. I'm pretty good about checking blogs regularly, except when I get busy. So, this will help anchor me to keep checking the blogs on a regular basis even when I'm busy.
What advice do you have for other people who might want to start something similar at their organizations?
- Use something like PageFlakes or an RSS aggregator to make it easy to scan through all the blogs.
- Have a standard format so you know what you're looking for, and it's easy to put the post together.
- Just do it! If nothing else, it's such a great learning exercise.