I’ve had this post in draft for a while, and after two more email conversations about it yesterday, and one spammy email asking me for a link exchange today it’s time to stop my editing and post it.
Talking Story is a blog and not a static website for me because I love having conversations with you who are in the Ho‘ohana Community of readers, whether you choose to engage with me here, via email or in other less public ways (see Aloha to the Silent and Faithful). For me, learning to be a better manager and a better coach (my ho‘ohana) happens in conversations: I already know what I think.
I write about community — a lot (here, here, here, and here just for starters). I’ve also written before about how important professional relationships are in business (here, and here) and I do consider Talking Story a business blog.
Knowing these fundamental things about me will help you understand that while I will always be grateful to those who list Talking Story on their own blogs — mahalo nui — you shouldn’t expect simple link exchanges from me.
I invite people to be part of the Ho‘ohana Online Community after I have developed my own relationship with them, and I have been witness to their willingness to engage in positive conversations with their own readership (and positive doesn’t mean you necessarily agree about everything). They celebrate the spirit of aloha in their interactions with their guests and customers — the people who read their blogs. They strive to be Mea Ho‘okipa, the epitome of the gracious host: Their blog is a home they invite others into, and once guests arrive, they do all they can to make them feel comfortable and welcomed.
The readers of Talking Story, those whom I call the Ho‘ohana Community, are very important to me, and I believe they trust me to make good recommendations. I am not willing to compromise their trust and disappoint them. I can only recommend another blogger when I am very confident he or she is very responsive, and willing to engage in conversation with them.
It has been pointed out to me that I may be unrealistic about keeping up with comment conversations and trackback courtesies, especially if I ever hope to attain the status of a widely-read author. Should I have the good fortune to be more popular, I will have others in the community or my ‘Ohana in Business help me. I believe that people who have taken the time to write to you deserve an answer, and I pray I never ever get too busy for that. Conversations with the Ho‘ohana Community will always be my focus. The day it is no longer possible will be the day that Talking Story — and Say Leadership Coaching for that matter —ceases to exist.
All that said, you can be the one to initiate the relationship! If you comment here, I will answer you either in the comment field or by private email if it seems more appropriate, and I will always visit your blog when I have a url to find you. Statistically 90+% of those who do comment here are other bloggers. If you send me a trackback ping same thing: you are sure to get a visit from me and a response (as you know trackbacks are great for people following your links back to you).
And I do hope this hasn’t sounded cold, for I do want to meet you and get to know you: In fact, I’m a voracious blog reader, and I make a point to find good blogs to recommend to the Ho‘ohana Community: I believe that’s one of the things they’ve come to expect from me. We are a learning community, and we want to learn from you. I am quite sure that all the bloggers now in the Ho‘ohana Online Community agree, and will welcome you with open arms as well.
I’m pretty quick to subscribe to other blogs (as you can see here): You keep me as a subscriber when you post regularly and you write well — that’s the golden ticket for all of us, isn’t it?
My personal brand and the branding of Talking Story strives to always be in alignment with the values of the Managing with Aloha philosophy: Those universal values define what I (and I believe my readers) regard as like-minded blog content. If I ever err I fully expect that my readers will quickly call me on it, and rightfully so. If you have a business blog, I believe good business values are critical to the success and integrity of your business.
And there is one more thing. If you’ve been following Talking Story since I established the Ho‘ohana Online Community this past January, you know that I’m starting to get the bloggers included involved in my monthly Ho‘ohana, and I do ask them to be part of my forums. We all get busy, and I don’t expect that they will always be able to participate, but if they are MIA month after month the rest of the Ho‘ohana Community will probably notice. Being part of a business community (and in particular our reinvention of it) requires that people get involved and keep the community vibrant, dynamic, and healthy. That is not something that will continue to happen on the strength of my voice alone.
I recognize that community involvement is a commitment, and that I ask for the most precious thing another blogger may have — time. (I don’t believe asking someone to share their aloha with others is difficult or too much to ask.) However if you do become part of our Ho‘ohana Online Community one day, you will find that there will be quite a bit of link-love and conversation-aloha for you as the reward you so patiently had worked for, as much as is in my power to give you. That will be the commitment I make to you.
So between now and then, raise the bar for us all. Give first, and ye shall then receive. I want to link to you, I really do.
Engage in comment conversations both with your own readers and here on Talking Story. Kulia i ka nu‘u: pursue your personal excellence and strive for the summit. Learn to be Mea Ho‘okipa. My bet is that you will end up the winner. In fact, do those things and your own blog will be so successful you won’t need my link at all, and you’re likely to find me playing in your comment fields too.
Ho‘ohana, and aloha, — Rosa