Why I Blog

The short answer is self-preservation.

If you want to know more, I need to take you back January, 2007. My former law firm had been using Microsoft’s SharePoint as the backbone of their intranet for years. As part of my role with the knowledge management team, we were responsible for the firm’s intranet. The 2007 upgrade of SharePoint included these things called “blogs” and “wikis.” At the time, the terms sounded like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But I looked a little closer and saw that they had some potential for knowledge management.

I quickly discovered that two people I knew in legal knowledge management had blogs: Ron Friedmann’s Strategic Legal Technology and Joy London’s Excited Utterances. Originally, I thought they were just websites. (Does it really matter anymore?)

I did a little more research and decided to try setting my own blog. I came across many articles that said the only to figure out these web 2.0 tools was to actually use web 2.0 tools. See: 23 Things in Learning Web 2.0.

I set aside an afternoon to set up a blog. Google claimed their Blogger platform was easy to set up (and it was free). Instead of an afternoon, it took me ten minutes to set up the blog. Five minutes was spent figuring out a name and four minutes was spent choosing colors. That left a lot of time that afternoon to think about the implications of what I had done. I also had to figure out what to do with it.

This was the birth of KM Space. The name of that blog came from my split between knowledge management and real estate. (“KM” for knowledge management and “Space” for real estate.) Initially, I thought the blog would be all-encompassing. But I quickly found the knowledge management posts and real estate posts were jarringly different. Eventually, I spun off the real estate posts into my second blog: Real Estate Space.

My blogging has always been about personal knowledge management. I put up posts to memorialize interesting things I find so I can find them later. I also found that writing about an idea helps me to focus more coherently on the subject. Blogging is part of my learning process. I use my blogs to put my thoughts and ideas into a searchable place.

To settle into my new position as Chief Compliance Officer, I used Compliance Building as a learning tool. I set up the first version of this compliance blog to help me capture the statues, regulations, articles and ideas that I need to understand.

This blog was “dark” for a long time while I captured my thoughts and older material. The company was supportive of me bringing it public. So, I imported the content and opened this blog to the public on February 12, 2009.

The secondary reason is that it’s good for the industry and if its good for the industry, then it’s good for my company and good for me personally. If a fellow private equity real estate company gets into compliance or ethical trouble that will reflect poorly on the industry as a whole. Inevitably, that will make my job harder. It will likely make it harder to raise capital and to get deals done. That’s bad. So I try to share information that will benefit the industry because that indirectly benefits me.

I am happy that anyone takes the time to read any of them, but I think I am the biggest consumer of my blog material.

The blog platform is just a great way to keep information organized and retrievable. The blog posts are arranged in chronological order, making them easy to find based on date. I use the categories to keep the posts organized by topic. I use the tags to organize the posts around sub-topic, author and publication. Pages provide an overview, with easy editing. (Like this page.)

As for the name of this blog, I originally wanted to use the name Compliance Space to continue with the Space brand. But ComplianceSpace.com was taken and they did not respond to my offers.

I draft blog posts whenever the information hits me. I am a big fan of using a blog to capture my notes during a conference, webinar or presentation. Some presenters seem to be annoyed at the typing. (They clearly have not been to a law school classroom lately.)

Even though I draft the blog post right away, I often schedule them to publish at a future date to smooth out the flow. Any of the blog post you see with a publish time at 8:00 am are usually pre-scheduled to publish. But I am not a magazine publisher. I do not keep a publication schedule.

This blog is about allowing me to communicate with other interested and interesting people. It allows a place to capture my thoughts and share them with you (and myself). I hope that your compliance program benefits from these posts.

Feel free to leave your comments or thoughts on any of my blog posts.

7 Responses to Why I Blog

  1. Kelly Brown June 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi, gr8 post thanks for posting. Information is useful!

  2. Bill Landay July 14, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    This helps me think about blogging and why, to my surprise, I enjoy it. I meant my blog to be a (book-) sales tool but it turns out to be a hobby. So few people read it, it’s mostly done for myself, as a way to sort out my thoughts, which writing forces me to do. Thanks, Doug. Keep writing.

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