That’s a question many are asking themselves these days. Bob Sutor from IBM, Jim Grisanzio from Sun, and Ted Haeger from Novell are among those that have concluded that to some extent, at least, it doesn’t. For my part, I’m undecided. There’s certainly material I don’t include here but distribute to friends and family – much in the same manner that most of my Flickr pictures are public, but I keep anything with people in them private. But personally I appreciate some personal material in the blogs I read, and hope that corporate bloggers everywhere don’t forget that uniformly on-topic blogs are at greater risk of going stale. Here’s how I put it when Charlene Li of Forrester included “I Will Stay on Topic” as one of her corporate blogging guidelines:
This is the one I disagree with most. The most boring blogs I’ve read are the ones that are uniformly, unwaveringly, on-topic. Conversely, most of the ones I love to read every day have a great deal of off-topic information in there. Maybe I care for it, maybe I don’t, but variety, as they say, is the spice of life. This can be taken too far of course (and I no doubt tried some folks patience around here during the Red Sox World Series run, though nobody so far as I can tell unsubscribed), but I think we’re all capable of managing the signal to noise ratio ourselves.
But I’ll be the first to admit that this is a highly subjective area. I find it rewarding in my interactions with people to know something more about them, as I find it helps build relationships, but what about you guys? Do you prefer less personal material? More? How about this space; would you all prefer that I scale back on my off-topic posts?