3 Arguments for Disabling Blog Comments

Are blog comments something you look forward to moderating or do you feel they are holding you back from more important tasks? Blog commenting has long been considered a way to allow your readers to take a more active ‘role’ in the growth and development of your site! For the site administrator however this means they must also take the time to review and respond to each comment left! Is the time invested in reviewing your readers remarks and responses to what you’ve posted better put to use in some other area?

Here are 3 valid arguments as to why you may want to consider disallowing people from leaving comments on your blog!

Harmful Spam

Damn spam! We get that crap in our mail, email, telemarketing calls and yes, even blog commenting has been known to display evidence of spam, gasp! Now that Google has ‘proclaimed’ spammy commenting or delinquent links find therein, will cost bloggers, spam has become even more repulsive! Now suppose for a moment you didn’t even allow your readers to comment, good bad or otherwise, or a way to do so anyway, than of course the litter called spam wouldn’t be a concern to you would it? Additionally now that you don’t have to invest the effort to sniff out spam in each and every comment, there is nothing holding you back from getting an early start on your next blog post!

Time Consuming

One thing most bloggers have in common is they are always pressed for time! Developing content takes time just to find a topic you can focus on and than don’t get me started on the research! The point here is this, if your readers were asked to decide between being able to leave a comment or having fresh content to view, they likely will choose the latter! Unfortunately blog commenting has an ‘evil’ side and that is it’s high maintenance and time consuming, at least for the blogger!

Writing Defensively

Let’s face it, once you have people commenting on your blog, you tend to post updates that ‘please’ these very same visitors! While this may appear to be a good thing, it does keep you from being a bit more daring, creative or edgy when creating something new for your readers and sadly, this is what they want! Let’s face facts, standing out or taking a stance can definitely give you a edge as a blogger, but allowing your readers to influence what you think or create limits you as well as your success!

Although blog comments left by your readers can be helpful and encouraging to your writing efforts, the time they take to ‘monitor’ may be holding you back! As discussed above there are some very compelling reasons for you to consider not allowing blog commenting on your site! When you consider your readers are in search of fresh content relevant to their interests, perhaps your time is better spent developing more of what they want! For this reason and the others reviewed above it would seem allowing people to leave remarks holds the potential to introduce more bad than good to your platform! Just a thought!

An Argument For Guest Blogging

In the early 1980’s, Pepsi launched an ad campaign around a series of blind taste tests that featured its own product against that of its largest competitor and the leading product in the space. Pepsi, with a sweeter drink that may actually taste better when sipped, did very well in the carefully orchestrated demonstrations. What’s not often remembered however is that in a non-blind challenge, when the labels of the drinks were visible, people chose the other leading soda by a factor of about 3 to 1.

There are many reasons why this might have happened, a prevailing theory being that Pepsi tastes better during sips but the other leading soda is better if you’re drinking a whole can. But that would ignore the most obvious conclusion: Brand Matters. A lot. Even in a taste test. Even when the only investment is telling a random person serving soda in a mall which drink you preferred. Brand is the difference between people choosing Pepsi or choosing the other leading soda by 3 to 1, a staggering turn. As the scientist behind Pepsi’s flavoring, that has to be a little disheartening right? Even if you’ve found the winning formula, the name on the can will drive people to drink something they thought was less tasty.

Well guess what, branding matters in blogging too. And it is the single best argument for guest blogging. Like the scientists behind the winning Pepsi flavor, you may have perfected a way to crank out writing that’s second to none. In a blind test, blog readers might choose you most of the time. But you’re going to find out the same thing Pepsi did: that’s not how the real world works. There’s no such thing as a blind taste test when bloggers choose who they’re subscribing to. Branding matters, even to blog readers.

If you’re doing good work but don’t have the readers, try hitching your blogs to a stronger brand for a while. Find bloggers in your space who seem to have a reasonable guest posting program and send them a sample. If it’s a fit, they’ll let you know. If it’s not, take it somewhere else or use it yourself.

Either way, you owe it to yourself to get read. Even if it means taking some of your best work and not putting it on your site. Getting exposure to people who don’t know your brand is more valuable to your community and the experience of your blog than just about everything else. Early on, it might seem like good writing is enough. That you won’t need to promote it through more well known and trusted channels. But brand matters. A lot. Just ask Pepsi.

4 Arguments For Introducing Coaching

Over the last year, I have written many articles that have explored the nature of coaching and looked in detail at the skills and techniques involved in becoming a useful and effective coach for the individuals and teams with whom we work.

In this piece I want to widen the horizons a little and look at ways of ensuring that coaching becomes an integral part of people management and development in all organisations. Let’s firstly examine the obvious rationale for adopting the coaching approach.

“We have to deal with constant change.”

At one time we could expect to leave school, college or university with an education that would last our working life. We could enter the workplace and refine and develop this knowledge and, as we moved up the ladder and into supervisory or managerial positions, we could impart our knowledge and expertise and share our wisdom with those who would eventually replace us. Knowledge was power and commanded respect. Managers would be proudly say ‘I wouldn’t ask anybody to do anything I’m not able to do myself’

This position is no longer sustainable. Some have suggested that the body of knowledge we have when we leave the education sector is completely useless and out of date inside three years. Managers cannot hope to keep pace with the ins and outs of all the jobs performed by their teams because it would be like trying to push water up a hill – impossible.

Coaching, with its emphasis on drawing out rather than putting in, emerges as the only way of leading and developing people in our increasingly dynamic and fluid workplaces.

“We work in flatter structures.”

During the 1980s and 1990s increasing competition and developments in technology, amongst other things, meant that many organisations underwent some kind of ‘downsizing’. More often than not this meant losing large numbers of so called middle managers and resulted in the managers left behind having to find ways of achieving more results with fewer resources.

Where before organisations would have carried some slack there was now a need to be focused and precise in all areas of operations. Hierarchal reporting lines were abandoned in favour of matrix management which meant that people could expect to report to two or three ‘bosses’ depending on the projects they were working on. Technology took care of more of the routine tasks meaning people were free to work on business development in project teams with a high need for creative thinking.

This is still very much the case today, and will be even more so in the future. Against this background, managers cannot hope to lead and develop their teams by being the font of all knowledge and simply passing down the orders. We need ways to help people access their flair and creativity instead. We need ways to make people feel empowered and resourceful and motivated to achieve. Coaching offers a practical way of achieving these aims.

“People are the only true competitive advantage.”

If we get a new IT system or piece of plant our competitors can get the same by the following week.

We might secure a large amount of capital investment or funding but there would be nothing to stop our competitors doing the same.

Any organisation, no matter how sophisticated, is in the end, simply a collection of people. It follows that if we want to improve business performance, then we must always look to improve the performance of individuals and teams, as this is where the potential for improvement lies.

The frustration comes from hearing senior managers cry “We’ve got to get the best out of people”, then watching as they do the exact opposite and spend a fortune on various ways of stuffing the best in to people. Coaching provides the antidote to this approach.

“People expect to de developed.”

The essential ‘deal’ of working for an organisation has irreversibly changed. Where once we could expect security and a job for life in return for our valiant efforts at work, now we cannot expect to remain in a job for life whatever our level of performance.

The new ‘deal’ is that in return for our work and endeavours we expect to grow and be developed so that we might move on to bigger and better things and perhaps move to a different organisation. People now talk of CV Building and Employability as being crucial areas to consider.

Coaching can deliver on these expectations and it can do so quickly. It can help organisations provide the development that people expect without the huge investment required for complex training programmes.