There are many different reasons people blog — reflecting more and learning are good examples of common reasons to blog. A few weeks ago, I was listening to a (pre-recorded) session where Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book, was talking about time-limited blogs.
While the session was about a year old, I was still very surprised at the number of people (and these are people who would participate in a session about blogging) still didn’t really understand the difference between forums and blogs. As is usually the case with communication, it’s easy to blame those being communciated to for not understanding.
But I’d say the lack of understanding probably comes more from a lack of clear communication on what a blog actually is (versus a forum, or a non-blog site). Personally, I very rarely refer to my site as a blog — I don’t often find that there’s a useful difference by distinguishing it as a blog.
What really caugth my interest in Debbie’s talk though, was the growing interest she had identified in time-limited corporate blogging. This is where a company takes a specific issue or event and creates a blog around it that only lasts for a given amount of time (which could be anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more).
While there’s certainly no shortage of blogs that eventually just die off (which usually happens with a whimper, rather than a bang) — these blogs are intentionally set to self-destruct.
My initial thoughts was that this must be such a let-down for people who subscribe to the site — knowing that one day a site you enjoy reading is going to be gone.
But when I thought about this some more, rather than setting your readers up for disappointment, you’re actually setting realistic expectations. Being a content creator is tough (even in the short time I’ve been writing, I’ve found it tough to stick to a regular posting schedule).
By establishing realistic expectations with your readers, they’ll come back when you launch your next issue- or event-specific blog. This way, you keep the focus of your blog targeted and specific, rather than just dumping content into a site because you feel you have to.