Tag Archives: blogs

Blogging therapy… but at what age?

Over the last month, I’ve been remiss in sharing my thoughts and observations through my blog. But with so many ideas still swirling in my head, I’ve come to realize that blogging for me (and perhaps journaling for others) is perhaps the best therapy when it comes to clearing through the cobwebs and making sense of reality.

So to no surprise, after sitting down with my 12-year-old son to talk about some issues that arose today, I suggested that he may want to consider blogging as a way to get things off his chest. While a journal would be more private, a blog would allow him to not only speak his mind, but also provide an opporunity for others to learn from him.

You may be wondering what people could learn from a 12-year-old, but you see, my son has Asperger Syndrome.  It’s an autism spectrum disorder that impacts his ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. A more detailed look at this disorder can be found here and here.

As an Aspie, my son is a frequent target for bullying; he learns differently from others; has some unique traits, talents and gifts; and battles an emotional rollercoaster daily. By publicly providing his perspectives on life, we could all see the world through his eyes.

As parents, we are constantly advocating for our children. But with more kids going online and embracing social media, I’m hoping that by sharing the best and worst of his life as an Aspie, people will gain a better understanding not only of him as a person, but also the struggles faced by the Aspie population as they wind their way through life from childhood to adolescence (and into adulthood), and as they try to make sense of things that everyone else takes for granted.

Of course, my “brilliant” idea also leads to some interesting questions (each of which could serve as an individual blog post):

  • Is there a right (or wrong) age to begin blogging? And if so, what is it?
  • If a tween decides to blog, what is the right platform for them to use?
  • What is the best way to build a following so their message doesn’t fall on deaf ears?
  • Given the issues of privacy and safety when it comes to kids going online, is it best to blog anonymously or using a pseudonym?

If you have thoughts on this topic or answers to any of these questions, please share away.

~ JE

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We Want Stuff, Not Fluff

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Lee Odden gives a nice roundup of some tools that take you to the next level of monitoring stats on a blog, rather than the ubiquitous Google Analytics. I’m a stats junkie and keep a close eye on who is visiting this blog, who referred them and — more interesting — which network or company they are surfing from. It doesn’t take much effort to dig down and, with some cross referencing on LinkedIn and other social sites, narrow it down to who that person might be. It’s good business intelligence.

We’re in the process of taking a look at some social media monitoring services too. I have used Radian6 previously, and liked its ease of use, but wasn’t too keen on how quickly the window can become cluttered with different reporting boxes, especially if you have a lot of searches running at once. Amber, have you got feedback along similar lines, or am I in the minority?

Another tool we’re going to explore is Toronto-based Sysomos. Looking forward to Steve’s demo.

All these services are a boon for the busy marketer that needs to automatically track what is being discussed in the social space. But I still think these are just starting points in that process; a human being then has to sift those results and decide how to present it to the client. I understand there are “e-mail person X on a daily basis” options, but I’d be wary of adding a client to that list without their knowledge. They are busy too, and need to get at the relevant stuff, not the fluff.

I’m also curious how these social media tracking tools decide on when to add a source of data to their monitoring lists? When do they become relevant enough to be included? Trade secret, or does someone want to offer that insight?

PR is 24/7 now. You can “set it and forget it” or take the extra time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

~ John Carson, Consultant (Twitter: johncarson)