Jennifer Rice comments that she's working to make her blog more personal. Darren Rowse, Wayne Hurlbert, and David St. Lawrence pick up the conversation. Like me, they're finding it challenging to strike a proper balance between professional, relevant and personal, human. I know I probably don't write enough about my own motivations, frustrations, challenges, or mistakes. I know my management team (occasionally) visits my blog, and I know regardless of my personal feelings, I represent my company to some degree (dispite my disclaimer!).
When it all comes down to it, I'm not sure we can (or should even try to) disconnect the personal from the business. Brands are about reputation. Business is about trust and reciprocation. Contracts are covenants. Marketing is communication. Selling is a dialog. Business partnerships, even at a transactional level are about shared goals, common vision, commitment to each other.
The thing that appeals to me about blogs is that they allow a deeper conversation to occur. They reveal the person behind the words. The motivation behind the advice. The human behind the company.
To me, the biggest problem in business (and in communities, and in schools, and churches, and in marriage, and in nearly every social situation) is lack of trust. And trust can only come when people know your motives. And that can only come when people really know each other.
My blog continues to evolve, but like Jennifer, I'm working on being more open, not less. If people don't want to wade through my posts about my kids, or my frustrations, they can move on to other posts, or for that matter, other blogs. I like hearing about Robert's wife and his relationship with his son. I like hearing about Beth's robot dog, and Dare's frustrations with Robert, and Diane's triumphs at work. It helps me realize they're not corporate drones who only care about selling more Microsoft software.
In the meantime, the value I've found in blogging comes from getting to know others that share common values of mine, whether it's customer connection, management values, personal development, work-life balance, or family connection.