Seems a little early to be announcing the You Get It award winner this month but it was decided a while ago. I’m pleased to recognize Mike Schaffner and his excellent blog Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms!
I met Mike in Houston a few weeks ago and we spent the better part of a day at the same meetings. It was really cool to get to know him in person, and to put a face and personality behind this blog.
I’m going to list a few things that I really, really like about his blog, and then tomorrow I’ll post an interview that I had with him. Here’s why I like his blog so much:
Remember, this award is for people who “get it” – that is, use technology (yes, heavy on the bloggers) to quantify their breadth, depth and passions.
1. Mike has a title and kind of two taglines. I’m not sure what branding experts would say about this, but I like it.
The title is Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms – which says “I understand IT but I’m not the “throw-the-pizza-under-the-door-and-leave-me-alone-geek.”
The first tagline introduces his name: “Mike Schaffner on Creating Real Value Through Information Technology“… the thing that stands out to me as a hiring manager is “creating real value through the tools”… good priority for a CIO!
The second tagline is just the three words on the top left: Communicate, Execute, Adapt. I’ve been in IT for a while and I think its fair to say that most non-IT executives want these things most from the IT executive!
2. Excellent, transparent content. CIO’s deal with a multitude of issues, and they have to prove business smarts as well as technical and strategy smarts. You can go through Mike’s Favorite Posts as well as his Categories and see a good mix of all of these.
Mike’s style is smart and will effectively communicate to other CIO execs (or wannabees like me). But none of it is dry – its all about discussing important matters. As for transparent, the “Ah Ha” post show’s that he is current on his reading and isn’t afraid to admit that he doesn’t “know” everything. This is a super-important trait in the blog world.
3. Community builder. One thing I haven’t commented on with the other winners is their proactive efforts to build communities in and around their blogs. This is the difference between just well-written vs. well-visited!
Mike has done an excellent job few months since he started to help others know about his blog. He actively participates by commenting on other blogs – here’s a an excellent example of how Mike contribute to the community environment on Harry Joiner’s (the Marketing Headhunter) post on CIOs. Mike’s response is much better than just writing “great post! Keep it up!”.
Also, when it was “tag season” Mike reached out to some pretty big bloggers and had a good response from them – it was a good strategy to either initiate a relationship or strengthen the relationship. Why is this important? Once you get other bloggers to link to you in their posts and their blogroll, you might get some of their readers. In networking, its like going into someone else’s “circle” and meeting their buddies.
4. Ease of subscription. I don’t remember if I’ve posted on this before either, but I think it is critical that blogs give me an easy way to subscribe to them. I know RSS is the most common way to subscribe to a blog but it has its own problems. My favorite method is e-mail subscription, and I consider it a best practice to offer this to your visitors. You can see the “Subscribe to Mike’s Blog” section on the left, towards the top … just put your e-mail address in and hit subscribe. This shows that he considers non-RSS people (like me) to be worthy of his updates
5. Another thing I haven’t commented on before (for bloggers) is the involvement in other technology. Mike’s “About” page shows involvement in LinkedIn and Ziggs and makes it easy for you to find his profiles there.
Mike, congratulations! You are hereby awarded a cyber-high-five, six months of premium access to JibberJobber, and a coveted link from my blogroll to your blog!