This Friday I have been asked to speak at Social Media Breakfast Maine in Portland. The topic of discussion is inspiration. The reason they asked me is because I have spent the last year building up a network of blogs on the Bangor Daily News website and by using marketing tools such as social media, gained new audience for both the BDN and the bloggers themselves.
So as I’m sitting here trying to figure out a speech and a PowerPoint (and how I’ll probably not do either) it hit me. “While I can’t figure out what to say, maybe I could write about it in this blog.”
I documented my love for the BDN newsroom in a earlier post but what I didn’t do was talk about the bloggers, who I helped build up and spent so much time getting to know.
I have had the privilege of getting to work closely with dozens of people, all with a story to tell and an interesting way of telling it. Some needed tech help, others needed writing help. Some had great blogs already and just wanted some marketing help. But we all worked together to put out an incredible package of material that was viewed over 3 million times in the past year.
I never thought I would be a blogger myself, but here I am, blogging. The reason I started this was not because I had a story to tell, but because I wanted a place to test things and troubleshoot for the other bloggers. I chose to write a “daddy blog” because it was the biggest thing going on in my life, so I knew I could get a few posts out of it (now up to 77). Also we had a few other parenting blogs on the site including those by Heather Bogolyubova (I still can’t pronounce this) and Karen Foley that I found hilarious and full of life’s truths.
I quickly found out that I too love to blog. I enjoy the creative outlet. Once I started blogging myself I quickly understood the motivation to blog. I found time late at night, o-dark-30 in the morning, and weekends to write. I started to read more. This lead to more writing which in turn, led to better writing (notice I didn’t say “good” writing). With my newborn as a subject I found constant material. Every time he did something new I wanted to blog about it. When he kept me up all night, when he started to crawl, when I spent time with him and when I needed to get away – it was all material.
At work I got to talk hunting with Erin and Robin, hiking with Aislinn, Food with Jim and Linda, music with Emily and WPC, beer with Chad and a host of other things. I get to tap into some great political minds like Matt Gagnon and Mike Tipping and be amazed by the writing style of Alex Steed, Chris Busby and Jim LaPierre. Their dedication and passion was all the inspiration I needed to do my job to the best of my ability.
Each blogger has a passion for what they were writing about and it came through in each post. Honestly, with great content, it’s easy to capture the attention of the audience. I mean who can’t relate? Who doesn’t have horror stories of their kids? Who hasn’t enjoyed hiking in Maine? Who doesn’t want to know what beer would go best with a slice of pumpkin pie? Finding the right marketing platform and social channels is easy. The bloggers are a great cross-section that represents all that Maine has to offer. They are regular people with passions and hobbies that are experienced by everyone to a degree. Each of their posts a work of art, and me – the curator at the museum. Who wouldn’t want to check out that exhibit?
Now that I have written this, I know what to say Friday. My inspiration didn’t come from inside. It came from the passion that my “blog army” had for their work, their interests and their writing. I don’t think I’ll need any note cards. But since it’s a breakfast, I will require bacon.