Blogs – Search, Read, Comment, You’re Hired

October 13, 2009 at 8:41 am 4 comments

Some companies are warning employees with “You’re Fired” if they spend too much time reading blogs and other social media sites while working. I say you could hear “You’re Hired” if you know how to search, read, and comment on blogs today.

You wouldn’t read someone’s diary or personal journal, and hope to secure a job by doing so. But blogs are different today than they were 10 years ago, and there are a few more of them, too.

When the term “blog” was coined in 1999 by Peter Merholz blog historians say there were 23 known weblogs in existence. Today, there are likely 150,000,000 blogs. With a count that high, it’s likely that dozens of blogs exist that can assist in your career development or transition. Here’s what you need to know.

First, a blog is simply a website that allows easily updated journal-type entries, comments and communication between writer and readers. Combine that with the fact that job searching is all about networking, and you have a recipe for success.

150,000,000 Blogs to Search
Where do you begin? Dozens of blog search engines exist. Six or seven of them are truly helpful in your search for career advancement.
1. Google blog search, only when combined with the Google Reader, is a very good blog finder.
2. Technorati is new and updated and may be the best blog search option.
3. Blog Catalog offers a simple and user-friendly tool for quick and effective searches.
4. Alltop provides another excellent reader-and-search combination in a unique format.
5. Bloggeries, like Blog Catalog, provides an intuitive and simple search platform.
6. 9 Rules has that independent and different feel that makes it a lot of fun to use.

To learn which of these sites works best for you, start with a search term like Automotive Sales Management, or Real Estate Marketing, or Chemical Engineering, and plug the same terms into each search tool. They will deliver unique variations, and you should use the one working best with your terms. As with any search, be more specific, not less.

Start Reading
With my two favorite search engines, I have created subscription “feeds” to dozens of blogs I can scan daily. When I open Google Reader in the morning, several hundred blogs posts await my scanning, reading and commenting. I can highlight and save the most compelling blog posts for later reference. Alltop’s Reader does much the same for me, though with different blogs.

Keep your reading goals in mind here. You want to learn, you want to take names, and you want to share your expertise.

If you’re out of work, you’re likely missing out on more than just the income. You’re missing out on the continued professional development that comes with work and co-worker interaction. Reading the right blogs will get you back in the game. It could even serve as professional education needed for a career change. I have improved my knowledge of the latest social networking strategies, while keeping up with the industry I worked in for so many years. I could not have learned this much without spending time reading a variety of blogs.

Your time outside the office could also be excluding you from a professional network so vital to career advancement. Because most blog authors give their names (they’re likely doing so for professional development, too!) you are building your network every time you read.

Actually, you have to do more than just read. You have to share your comments with these blog writers. what makes blogs valuable are the conversation, connections and community that is built through blogging and reading blogs. When you attend a social networking event, you need to wear that name tag and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Same with reading blogs. Introduce yourself by posting a well-thought comment on a blog post, with your name and e-mail address, of course. A good blog writer will comment back to your comment, and now you have a relationship. It’s not as quick an introduction as you might find at a live networking event. But because blogs are so topical, your networking time here can be incredibly efficient.

Microblog and Networking Follow Through
One good comment does not make a relationship. Nor does it completely tell your story. You need to follow through, and microblogs like Twitter and LinkedIn make that easy. When you find a blog post that helped you, it could likely be of value to your Twitter followers – share it. Re-tweet the experts you follow and admire as a networking lead and as information sharing. When you leave a great comment on a blog, share that thought with your LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers or Facebook friends.

Corporate Blogs
Not all the companies you’re interested in have a blog. In fact, few of them do. But more companies are adding “community” sections to their websites every day. And there are independent industry-specific blogs that can expand your education and your network just as well.

American Express and the Open Forum blog give a great example of using this community networking as a marketing communications vehicle.

Best Buy has built a community network for customer service and information sharing that is unrivalled in the retail space. It uses blogs, forums and Twitter to communicate efficiently and effectively.

Symantec and Norton are currently expanding an already large community network for software serving consumer and corporate applications.

Avaya is blogging with its own experts to incite communication about communication!

Some consider Xerox to be in trouble in their industry, but a vast blog network may help correct that.

Toyota is not blogging but is using more popular social networks for listening to and communicating with its customers. You can find network links under Company News at toyota.com.

A couple non-corporate blogs to note that can serve as incredible tools for professional education and networking.
– Real Estate professionals (and consumers) should look at Agent Genius.
– The Health Care Blog is gaining a reputation as an independent leader for information in that space.
– Alltop and its career blog network gives you a long list of professional blogs to search.

Job Search Blogs
Here are a few more blogs that can aid in your direct job search activity.
Simply Hired and Indeed both have blogs to aid job searchers.
– LinkedIn has its own blog. It’s not updated daily, but should be checked for news and tips on using LinkedIn.
– The Simple Job Search is just not really simple, but is a worthwhile tool for more than just job searching.

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Entry filed under: Communications, Personal, Social Media. Tags: , , , , .

News, like hamburgers, should be more than just fast. We are ALL in Communications

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andy Green  |  October 16, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for noticing! We’re continuing to add new expert bloggers all the time.

    Andy Green
    Global Managing Editor, Avaya

    Reply
  • 2. hansenhouse  |  October 16, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I’m glad I found the Avaya Blog, and a lot of companies could learn from the example it leads about communication and service to a community.

    Glenn Hansen

    Reply
  • 3. Online Stock Trading  |  October 16, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google. I have a blog on online stock trading, I’ll bookmark your site.

    Reply
  • 4. Savannah  |  October 17, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.
    LOL,

    Reply

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