Settling accounts

It is an old English tradition that Christmas Day, as one of the quarter days, is a day for settling accounts. Over the past eleven months I have unexpectedly and gratifyingly incurred a number of debts.

The most significant is owed to Mary Abraham, who posed a question to a few of us back in November: how do you decide how/what/when to blog?  Finally, here are my thoughts.

The how is easily dealt with. I use whatever comes to hand when I have an idea. I have started blog posts from my Blackberry, using the mobile tool; I have worked directly in the full WordPress dashboard; I have recently started using BlogDesk as an offline editor — very useful when on the train without connectivity; and I have sometimes written the bulk of a blog post in long-hand (for which, read “scrawl”) in my notebook. Essentially, I use whatever works at the time.

What I blog is linked inextricably to why I blog. I have come to rely on this as my place for crystallising thoughts. More than anything else, I am continually learning about things that are at least tangentially related to my work. I find I learn best by reading, cogitating and discussing (which can extend to formal presentations or writing). The blog is therefore my place to do this — primarily for my own benefit. I do something similar at work, but that is only a limited solution. I have found that two significant things characterise people who do KM. They are firstly extremely willing to discuss ideas, even with total strangers. This makes KM conferences especially useful for the mingling time, even if the official content is of marginal utility. The second thing is that they tend to be rare or isolated within their own organisations. This makes it (a) difficult to find local kindred spirits with whom to discuss KM topics, but (b) easy to created mutually rewarding realtionships with KM people in other organisations. As a result, I think sharing my thoughts here results in a greater benefit to me and to the firm I work in because of the way that people in the wider world engage with it.

So the things I blog about are the things that pique my interest and which I think can usefully form the basis of this wider engagement. When I started out, I thought I would be able to use the blog to challenge accepted KM truths and traditions. This hasn’t worked out quite as I expected, but I may yet get there with time.

Finally, when do I blog? Practically speaking, it tends to be in the gaps of the day — on trains, while the children watch TV, and so on. Taking a different perspective on the question, I tend to write when I have been free to ponder for a while. At times when work requires more action than thought, it is harder to get round to blogging. That explains some of the gaps in transmission during the past year.

One of the reasons I eventually took the plunge to start blogging publicly was that I found conversations via comments on other people’s blogs valuable. In particular, Doug Cornelius’s KM Space and Neil Richards’s Knowledge Thoughts provided places where I developed some of the thinking that started me on this track. Having started by commenting, I particularly appreciate those who have commented on or linked to my posts during the year:

Many thanks to you all, and I hope the festive season brings you all you hoped for, with an exciting new year in prospect!

(For completeness, you might be interested in the answers provided to Mary’s question by Jordan FurlongPatrick Lambe and Doug Cornelius.)

3 thoughts on “Settling accounts”

  1. It’s a honor to be mentioned in your list. I enjoy reading your blog and commenting on your posts too, and reading your comments on my posts. Wish you all the best too!

  2. Mark –

    Thanks for continuing the meme. It sounds like we’ve followed remarkably similar paths, which have led us to this marvelous conversation place for knowledge management. Thanks for your many thought-provoking contributions to the conversation. Over the course of the year, you’ve become one of the “must read” writers on my list of favorite KM blogs.

    I’m looking forward to another year of stimulating conversation!

    Merry Christmas!


  3. Mark –

    Happy Holidays! This is a nice way to end the year.

    Thanks for spreading your knowledge about the concept of quarter days.

Comments are closed.