Today we will be speaking to Chris Garrett, professional blogger and online media strategist. Chris runs his blog www.chrisg.com which discusses among other things, blogging, internet marketing and new media. He also runs an internet marketing companies, omiq, which aims to help organisations achieve more through their online activities.
Good day Chris and welcome to nomad-one, my humble beginnings of a blog. Having scoured the blogosphere over the past few months in the hunt for gems of wisdom on blog strategies, forgive me for using such a silly term, I was pleasantly surprised by what your site had to offer. I’ve come across quite a number of “professional blog strategists” who claim to offer miracle cures and instant success strategies but your approach seems much more grounded and based on good wholesome experience.
How did you get into blogging?
I’ve always had a personal website since I first discovered the web back in the early 90’s but I started what you would consider my first blog as a personal journal around ten years ago, as was the fashion of the time. I found it fun so kept at it.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
As I say, I find it fun, I enjoy the process of writing. I think though the biggest benefit is the people you meet. Like the conversation we are having now!
Why did blogging attract you so much to the extent that you are now a professional blogger?
Why would anyone not? Heh. Really it shocks me sometimes that people are willing to pay me to do something that I get such a kick out of.
What are the greatest challenges you experience on a daily basis?
Lack of time is my biggest challenge. That and the other side of the coin, when I am not busy it tends to mean I am not earning quite so much. That pendulum effect keeps me paranoid and working 24/7
How would you define a blog site?
A regularly updated website with a bias towards conversation.
What is a professional blogger?
Someone who earns money through blogging.
Is web 2.0 and blogging as it is today just in a trend bubble which may burst sometime soon? Any web 2.0 dotbombs on the horizon?
Markets go through cycles. I foresaw and lived through the previous dotcom bubble because the projects I was working on seemed to live in a parallel dimension where nobody had ever heard of ROI! There is bound to be a correction but I am hoping people are smarter this time round. Blogging will evolve, I believe the word â€œblogâ€ is already on the way out.
What would you say are the main benefits of a blog over a regular cms based site?
Basically, what has made blogging take off like it has over the past few years
Immediacy and simplicity. My Dad can (and has) a blog. I worked on big CMS projects around the dotcom times, they were unnecessarily complex and sold by highly paid consultants to companies that didn’t need them via wined and dined IT Departments. A blog just works and is simple enough but powerful enough to get the job done.
Whatâ€™s your take on synthasite type projects, and do you see potential for a build you own blog type service online?
I am all for anything that puts the power of web publishing in the hands of all. It’s like the desktop publishing revolution (in both good and bad ways).
Whatâ€™s your favourite blogging platform?
WordPress, Drupal and CommunityServer in that order. I am closely watching Movable Type though.
Do you believe that a blog can suffice the web needs of most if not all companies and organisations?
When you love your hammer it is sometimes it is easy to see every problem as a nail. Not all companies need a blog, just as not all companies need to be online. Sometimes doing something really badly or inappropriately is worse than doing nothing at all. Having said that, if you want to publish a website for your company I would almost always recommend WordPress or Drupal as a CMS.
What if any is the most important point bloggers should focus on to improve their blogs effectiveness?
Focus on them not you. Blogging started out as Me-Me-Me but that doesn’t cut it any longer. It’s all about your audience and providing value in original and remarkable ways.
Do you think its possible to successfully run a portal type website off blogging software?
Yes. Absolutely. Drupal was built for that, CommunityServer rocks at portals.
What do you see could be the next big development in the blogosphere
The end of the blogosphere and the start of what replaces it.
If any, where do you see people falling short in fully understanding the power of blogging, I mean this for those who are already sold on the concept of blogging?
People both underestimate blogging and over estimate it. On the one hand blogs have massive influence, on the other hand the percentage of people who are aware of blogs overall is small. It’s strange, blogs will likely influence the next USA presidential election but at the same time if blogs disappeared tomorrow the world wouldn’t be much worse off. What I see most often is people getting comfortable with blogging and then letting loose with no sense of organization or boundaries. It can be like giving your drunken uncle the microphone at a wedding. It starts off funny but will almost always end in tears.
Do you think a blog has the power to change society, the world?
Every one of us has that power. We can all name individuals who have changed the world. Why not through a blog? I would say though it would not be a blog that changes the world but the person writing it.
Do you have any big plans for your own blogs development?
No. My blog is a part of my big plans but not the biggest part. Maybe some small plans, heh.
Well, That’s a wrap of it Chris, thanks for speaking to us and giving us some insight into what you do. You can visit Chris at www.chrisg.com. Belo is a feed of some of his latest Content from his blog. Enjoy.