Celebrating six years of blogging and sharing

Six years ago, I wrote my first blog post, “Blogging as a state of mind“. Forrester was supportive of my research efforts into the nascent subject of social media and saw the logic of my having a blog if I was going to be advising clients on how to have one! I am forever grateful for that leap of faith.

I remember how nervous I was writing that first post. After rewriting it several times, I finally closed my eyes and clicked on the “Publish” button.

I hold on to that memory because it’s a powerful reminder of what many people new to social media go through, that sense of being out of control. While I’d been publishing research at Forrester for five years by then, blogging was just me — unpolished thinking, typos, and all.

What I didn’t realize with that first post was how addictive it would all become. The same thing that drove me then — to share my thoughts and research with people — is what drives me to share today. And today, anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can quickly and easily share and feel the same sense of power.

In that first post, I wrote, “I believe that blogs as they are today are more a state of mind than a technology or a publishing tool.” As an example, I pointed out that Forrester’s CEO George Colony would occasionally write a column. He’s now a frequent blogger and Twitter user.

This is what many executives fail to grasp – that social media isn’t about blogging or Facebook or Twitter. It’s about sharing as a state of mind.

Executives are shockingly bad a sharing publicly, so I encourage them to take small steps, sharing simple observations with a small team of people. Many start doing this by email.

One recent example: The CEO of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt was asked to give the commencement address at Boston College last spring. In the course of writing his speech, he reached out to 270 Boston College grads at GE via email, asking them to share what advice they would give to new grads. It’s small steps toward greater sharing, but it is steps.

I’d love to hear from you what your first experiences were like, when you ventured into this brave new world of sharing and social media. Were you anxious, exhilarated? What have you learned since you started? Share so that we can relive those early days with you — they are worthy of reflection.

7 thoughts on “Celebrating six years of blogging and sharing”

  1. Hi Charlene, congratulations on the 6 years :). I’m currently reading your book “Open Leadership” and find it really helpful in what I’m doing.

    The first time I blogged, it was a personal blog…I also remember that exhilarated feeling, the need to continue to blog, the joys of having friends link to me and vice versa, and the freedom of expressing thoughts on the web :)… Sadly my personal blogging passion seemed to die down with the advent of facebook and twitter, where I found a more interesting place to hangout online with friends..

    But I agree with you, it’s good to reflect on the beginnings…

  2. I checked. It was November 28, 2005.


    For me, blogging is like breathing. I think of something, I want to share it. An extension of what we do with research. And Twitter extends that further. Cannot imagine not doing it.

    Thanks for showing the way. I remember the day I sat down with Ted Schadler and said “We should do a blog together. I can’t fill it all by myself, neither can you, but together, we can do well.” And thus was born the Forrester Devices and Media blog.

    Who knew that would one day launch me on the path to a book with you, taking over your Forrester blog, and then doing a book with Ted. So blogs are inextricably woven into who I am now.

    Here’s what I’ve learned. When you have that moment when you say “Wow” or “Cool” or “That’s wrong” — don’t stuff it down. Share it. That’s what people want to know and to read. (If you don’t have these moments, you are flatlined and the EMTs need to bring those paddles to wake you up again.)

  3. Hi Charlene,

    Congratulations! Six years ago blogging was too intimidating for me. I remember the feeling of that first blog (three or so years ago). The terror after I had hit ‘Publish’. And then I went on to read the post four times a day for the next week 🙂

  4. Hi Charlene Well done on completing 6 years in blogging. How the world has moved on in those 6 years. Perhaps blogging was the first evidence that the genie was out of the bottle, the days of command and control were gone forever. Your Open Leadership book captures much of how businesses need to respond to this new world. Blogging led to Facebook and now to Twitter. Thanks for leading the way and keep up the valuable thought leadership. I suspect there are more changes to come !

  5. Congratulations also for being listed as one of the Top 50 Women Who Rock and Blog [https://www.socialmediamercenary.com/the-following-women-who-rock-and-blog-toolkit]

    My original purpose of starting my blog 2-3 years ago was to preserve my newspaper columns. I wanted to have a place where I could access my writings easily. In the last year I have been enjoying blogging almost every day. It’s fun to share with readers. It’s a great way to get to know people and improve my writing. I love doing it.

    BTW, I work in a small special library. We recently added your book to the collection.

  6. Charlene,
    I’m glad you did start blogging, and continue to do so. Blogging led you to write Groundswell, still the best book on social media I’ve read.
    Here’s to six more years, and six more after that, and…

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