The last few weeks have been exceptionally busy.
There, that's the excuse. Got it out right at the start. No hiding. Exceptionally busy is code for: I've been neglecting this blog. I know it. Worse still, you know it and you've been pretty articulate about pointing it out to me.
However, for every downside there's an upside and my lack of blog activity has given me time for reflection about the mechanics of how I communicate (is shouting willy nilly into the blogosphere communicating?) and why.
The essence of a good blog is a personal conversation with many. Blogging allows a considered expression of a point of view. Space is unrestricted and the content inhibited only by the writers skill and imagination. It's the conversation bit that is the important factor here, or rather the pace of the conversation.
We live in a fast moving world, with 'always on' internet and a plethora of ways to 'chat' in real time. We've become used to the 'now' world and the new speed of the conversation, it's seductive and somehow gratifying, it provides a sense of connectedness. Blogging, particularly in the police environment where most colleagues still prefer their blog feed by email, is less immediate, more write and wait than type and 'talk'.
So, what are the implications for the way that I communicate (and possibly for the way that colleagues around the service use the new mediums) ?
A coherent and cognitive approach to integration seems to be the way forward, a blended approach across the various mediums and platforms. Many of you will know that I use Twitter quite extensively (follow me at www.twitter.com/openeyecomms ). Twitter provides a great place to highlight bite sized bits of information, little 'did you know's', current and developing events of significance. I allows me to provide a stream of relevant news about my particular field, quickly and easily. To stay connected to my audience, to show relevance and to add value. See it, appreciate it's relevance, tweet it.
However, where I have probably fallen down is using Twitter not just for the immediate, but in using it to place signposts to my wider writings and to my training and consultancy work. To such things as this blog. In short I've been lazy. Twitter is quick and easy. Writing this takes thought (oh yes it does!).
So. That's it. Mea Culpa. But now I'm cured.
Question is, how are you using the new mediums ? Are you just broadcasting. Shouting with intent? Or is your Twitter feed (you do have a Force/ Dept/Neighbourhood Team/ Specific topic or initiative Twitter feed don't you…) cognitively serving more than one purpose ? Is it linked to your other mediums and platforms ? Are the feeds targeted at specific key 'confidence' groups or issues ?
Twitter is becoming a tool that is increasingly being used by police departments, forces and units. In my next post I will try and provide an overview of some of the forces that are using Twitter and how they are using it. I will also highlight some of the colleagues who are actively using Twitter. I monitor quite a few of them, but if you know of any force/department/unit or colleague that is using Twitter, I would be grateful for an email (or a direct message to my Twitter feed). I would particularly like to hear about any mainland Europe cops that are using Twitter (forward this post to your mainland European colleagues).
Meanwhile, go check out CopTweet: the place where cops meet and tweet.
- Blogs, Bloggers & Twitter
- Work for idle hands…
- Check out CopTweet. The place for cops to meet and tweet.
- Sometimes you just despair…