Team blog or Personal Blog?


Recently I received this question.

Hey – I’m planning to start a blog this week to talk about new ????? work I and the rest of my planning team is working on. Anyway, I was wondering if you had advice about whether to use a team blog or individual one? What are pros/cons of each?

My reply was:

If you use an existing team blog you get the advantage of:

  • Instant traffic. Starting your own blog on MSDN means that you start out in the middle of 1k other active bloggers that compete for time on the blog home page and attention.
  • Traffic = More feedback sooner. If you just start out you probably can expect to get very little feedback on your early posts unless you get some other higher trafficked blog to point to your entries. A new blog also generally isn’t google indexed for a month or so with a pagerank that does any good.
  • Less pressure. Using a team blog generally means there are other people contributing content. This takes some of the pressure off of a blogger from having to feel like they have to post all the time to keep subscribers. A team blog spreads the pain a bit more.
  • It makes more sense to point customers to a team blog when it comes to certain features… like the MSDN search team blog. The team blog will always be there for customers, but your personal blog might suddenly not be relevant for MSDN users if you move to Office Live. You generally, for example, don’t see links to personal blogs from pages like the MSDN search page.

 

There are some con’s of the team blog approach.

  • A team blog is generally less personal with customers since there is generally less personality in the posts that comes through or not a cohesive personality since there are multiple posters.
  • Can’t link to a team blog on a resume or really point to it as a body of your experience/work.
  • I feel a lot more freedom on my own blog. If I want to link to something about msdn… I can. If I want to post about my experiences calling customers support… I can. I would be much more constrained on a team blog to keep the focus.

What am I missing?  Would you rather have a team blog for stuff like the “Exchange Blog” that you know will never change or would you rather collect the hundreds of voices from seperate blogs about exchange?  How should teams leverage these resources?

Comments (4)

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  2. gretchen says:

    For me, the two questions I ask when someone is wondering about an individual blog versus a team blog is 1) What is your reason / goal for starting a blog?, and 2) What is your scope of expertise?  … and well, 2 1/2 ) How does your scope of expertise map to what you are trying to achieve?  I know.  Wordy.

    Basically, what I often find is the reason a person wants to start a blog is much larger than their own professional scope.  You didn’t say what the new ?????? work is – so I’m not sure if that’s one person’s job, a whole team’s job, or an entire division’s job.   An advantage of a team blog is that you can cover a much wider set of topics, while still remaining subject matter experts.  If your focus as an individual is narrow, your subject matter will also be narrow (although deep).

    So it all depends on this person’s focus and what they actually want to cover …. narrow or broad? breadth or depth?

  3. MSDNArchive says:

    Very insightful comments gretchen. 🙂

  4. gretchen says:

    why, thank you 🙂  Good luck tonight at your baseball game, btw.