How this coach (me) reads a blog.

If you can’t tell yet, I’m not good at short posts. Maybe I will be when I’ve already written more of what roams my brain channels, although as a whole I do need to be more concise (can you imagine if I couldn’t link?!).  I tried to cut the extra words out of this one and it still turned out pretty long, but I thought it would help if you’re considering the offer I just made in my last post. Grab a cup of coffee or a beer if you are pau hana (done with work) … Ready?

During my ho‘omaha, I self-indulgently wallowed in a favorite pastime: reading everything I could get my hands on – and click my way to. The internet is called a lot of things, but for me, it’s a library: open 24 hours, offering a wealth of the newest releases and their reviews, no library cards or late fees, and no one saying “shush!” or glaring in disapproval when I yelp out in laughter (or some other incredulous response.)

Well my global library has been sprouting wings all over the place, thanks to a new concerto of self-publishing wonder children, those captivating conversationalists called bloggers. With SLC on hiatus for two weeks, I was able to spend much more time visiting them than I normally can squeeze in, sharing a comment or two, feeling much like a schoolgirl carving her initials in a tree sure to stand the test of time.

This month, very much in sync with our theme of community, I encourage you to broaden your own reading horizons in the blogosphere. Blogs are a link fest: they point you to the author’s network of favorites – which include all types of other web sites and platforms, not just other bloggers. “Virtual networking” may be the correct word for it, but in my language this whole web library phenomenon is about treasure-hunting and community-building, and so very palena ‘ole (without boundaries or limits).

Personally I can spend a lot of time on a blog. Their authors (or business marketing analysts) must go nuts trying to trace my path on their referral logs, for using the links they’ve provided for me, I click in and out with childlike curiosity and abandon. But I always click back in, maintaining a pretty good degree of discipline, not willing to leave their table until I’ve sampled the entire meal. I prefer to learn everything about one at a time versus several in a sitting, for I love getting into someone else’s head. I guess it’s the coach in me”

I want to know who I’m giving my attentions to, and I always start with their About Page, reveling in our society’s new quest for transparency. (If you are a blogger, your About Page is prime real estate, please don’t ignore it! And TypePad, this is where you can give us a value-packed upgrade in capability.) Loving the written word, and the passion-revealing why? of those written words as much as I do, I’ll then look for a post or link that says something like Ripples’Why I write,” Wiz Speak’sWhy I blog,” or Business Thoughts’Why I have a blog.” Only then, third and always third, do I jump into the main page posts themselves, reading as many as I can cram into the time I have: getting to know the author is my practice in having better empathy as a coach.

Next I usually check out their audience. Comments and trackbacks are these powerful magnets; I can’t resist them for very long! And this is where that sense of community comes in, for in the comments and trackbacks you find the inquisitive, optimistic, and proactive minds, the “sneezers and early adopters” Seth Godin talks about in his books. If memory serves me right, I’m pretty sure that’s how I came to meet Bren, the Slacker Manager (who if you ask me is as far from actually being a slacker as one can get, the man has GTD-itis), Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World, (who as I’ve already shared, is one of the most generous, gentle and patient teachers on the web), and Dave of Wiz Speak (who I am sure has a best-selling book in him, blooming and growing stronger with each post he writes).

And the referrals are so generous! Take for example my newest blog discoveries, authored by two very charming gentlemen, the Storch brothers, Todd and Terry. I’m still exploring both of their sites, for they’ve got terrific categories. Todd has set up a whole category for the posts he calls, “People You Need To Meet” and you must read it. His brother Terry has one called “52 Leadership Tips” that is an exceptionally rich goldmine. Terry is also a Google fanatic (I thought I was bad) and he just gave me one of his GMail invites to play with: how nice is that? It’s called aloha!

Last are my column searches (the left and/or right side columns that don’t contain the posts). In Hawaii people would call me nÄ«ele, inquisitive and nosey, questioning everything. Since I have my own web site and blog, I’m intrigued by web content design, creativity, and common-sensibility, and I love discovering new first-grader-friendly tech tools. Even after I’m fairly sure I know a blog’s design, I’m one of those people who only uses BlogLines as an update-notifier, not a quickie-reader: I always click into the blog itself because I want to see the updates in the entire blog (especially new comments), not just the current day’s post.

For those of you who are already very familiar with blogs, you may have noticed that one thing I haven’t done on Talking Story yet is provide a Blogroll. Believe me, I am deeply appreciative of the other bloggers who have linked to Talking Story, and I consider it a huge honor: I work hard on what appears here so those you refer to me will not be disappointed. I do want to reciprocate, and share what you have to say with this community. I just haven’t decided what to call my own Blogroll yet, and to be honest, nor have I finalized my criteria for it. Personally I think Blogrolls are very important statements on a business coach’s blog, and those who are on it should be in a place of honor: they deserve to feel they are in a place of dignity, respect, and aloha. And there are those of you out there whose goodness must be shared, so it will happen, and hopefully soon. In fact, keep reading, and you’ll get a preview!

A word of warning: my ho‘omaha reading fest was an exception. Once you get hooked on blogs it’s really hard to keep up with all the new posts ” I’m pretty backlogged in my own subscriptions again, but this is the bright side: I’m never at a loss for something great to read.

Here’s a tip for those of you on the hunt for great business blogs: visit the nominations now happening at the 2005 Business Blogging Awards. By clicking open the comment fields on their posts you’ll find nominations for business-related blogs that are off your normally beaten path. Or you can start right here with a few I’ll be nominating: they write exceptionally well about business, management, or leadership, and they are filled with aloha – a must in my criteria!
10 to start, in alphabetical order: Click over and visit them. Share your aloha and leave a comment with your mahalo (appreciation), for they work hard at what they do, and they offer it to you absolutely free.

Anita, at Small Business Trends
Bren, at Slacker Manager
Dane, at Business Opportunities Weblog
Dave, at Wiz Speak
David, at Ripples
Paul, at Radiant Marketing
Terry, at terry storch at fellowship church
Todd, at ktoddstorch at business thoughts
Wayne, at Blog Business World
Yvonne, at Lip-Sticking

P.S. A post-script to other bloggers stopping by: Never once have I clicked on a Blog Ad. I don’t mind that you have them, I just ignore them, preferring to buy online via recommendations. I block all pop-ups: those, I hate, and hate is a word I rarely use. I boycott sites that delay you with an ad before directing you to the page you were clicking for. However I do click on and buy Amazon-linked book recommendations all the time, never could resist those.

Have a good weekend: visit my library!


  1. says

    I feel honored by the comments and thoughts!
    It is this type of feedback that really makes me look forward to my next thought and blog post.
    You have a wonderful read here on “how to” read blogs.
    What is the term for blushing?????
    Thank you and keep coming back for more.

  2. says

    Aloha e Todd, ‘āpane is the word I know, as for “blushing.”
    The ‘āpane is a kind of lehua tree with a dark red flower, and so we’d refer to it, as in “you are like the ‘āpane” when a person is red or flustered. The flower is soft, delicate and fluffy: you can see it on this page:
    The lehua tree is very favored in Hawaii, and there is a Hawaiian proverb that says:
    “He kumu lehua muimuia i ka manu.”
    “A lehua tree covered with birds.”
    The kaona (hidden meaning) of the saying refers to an attractive person, for “a lehua tree in bloom attracts birds as an attractive person draws the attention of others.”
    — Mary Kawena Pukui
    And that my friend, is what the writing that flows from your hand, onto your blog has done!

  3. says

    Your kind words truly are Aloha! I sort of got hung up this morning articulating my feelings on networking. I spit the rocks out from between my fingers and finally typed something up. I should have visited Talking Story first. This post is the essence of networking and it is so well spoken!!
    You asked me if I minded that you weave Hawaiian terminology within your writing. I cherish it. While there is interesting culture around the world, I am an American and my foremost interest is American culture. Thank you for taking the time to help me learn!
    Awwww Shucks is as close as I can come Todd.

  4. says

    Rosa, you’ve made my week! I learn more and more from you each time I read your blog. This is such an excellent post. You are a most delightful lady– and, even though we’ve never met face-to-face (let’s do so this year!) I consider you a very good friend. Your praise is worth more than diamonds and gold. Of course, I cannot get enough of you, and your book…EVERYONE in the U.S. should read Managing with Aloha! Thank you for teaching me Aloha and so much more.

  5. says

    Thank you for your kindness and your support of my blog. It’s a privilege to be so honoured by The First Lady of Hawaiian Blogging.
    I write my blog to help others and share knowledge and information. It’s wonderful people like you, who appreciate that assistance, that makes blogging a pleasure.
    Your blog is a treasure, and a blessing to the internet as a whole, and the blogoshere in particular.