This entry from Pro-Blogger, got me started on this post. I do not have a lot of blogging experience. I have been seriously blogging only for the last 5 months (some sporadic blogging before that). Most of the traits I listed below are based on a few observations of my favorite bloggers.
1. They share their Learning
Most of my favorite bloggers are people, who are learning constantly. They share their learning through writing. In the days before it was called blogging, people used to write articles and columns. But now, they can just write a few paragraphs and teach you something new.
2. They share information and knowledge
Knowledge sharing is one of the most important aspects of the blogosphere. It could be how to apply some technology or a few tips on using products. It may be a new way of looking at things, a new use of an old technique. It could be a radically innovative idea or a critical look at some new fad. This is authentic stuff coming out of a blogger, based on what they know. Jon Udell is one of my favorites. I get so much out of his blog, I almost think of him as my Web Mentor.
3. They are idea generators
Effective bloggers are great thinkers. They generate ideas based on other ideas – their own and others. The cross pollinate ideas. They are constantly learning and thinking and sharing.
4. They are explorers and discoverers
Exploring/discovering are regular habits of many bloggers. They read other blogs. And they constantly dig for more information. Once they discover something, they are happy to share it. They bring us products that may happen in future or provide a new perspective on something that already exists.
5. Effective Bloggers are transparent
You know who they are. You know what they represent. You almost know their blog personality. I owe this insight to Robert Scoble. He was the one who told us that transparency is one of the most important traits of a credible blogger.
6. They generate conversations
Effective Bloggers are successful because they generate great conversations, like Darren did with this one. Don Box once wrote a blog on teaching kids to program. He was looking for a language to teach kids, how to program. I learnt more about different languages for kids, reading the comments on his blog than reading any single book on programming languages.
7. They are T-Shaped
We are talking about someone who has an area of deep interest or expertise, which is the vertical part of the T, but then he is multi-disciplinary in that he has knowledge of or empathy for other disciplines.
There are probably hundreds of other traits – good writing skills, self-deprecating humor, a novel outlook on life and others.
This post used to be called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers. After seeing several entries with the same name in Pro Blogger, I decided to make a change to the title.