Is anybody out there?

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There doesnt appear to be a word out there (yet) for the fear of blogging, or blogging phobia - so is it actually just me?

Over the past few weeks I've been reflecting on changes that have come this year for the People SIG. I am wondering what do we already know now, that in a years time we will wish we had realised we knew?

A year ago, I guess we could have predicted that our online presence would be a big focus of our efforts in 2012, and indeed my colleagues in the People SIG have taken up the challenge and delivered new content, in new media, with as much flair and elegance as our Team GB Olympic champions.

We made it to page one of the Google search with 'Does culture really matter' and then followed up with the provocative 'Fifty shades of grey'. I can't help wondering though how many unsuspecting web surfers clicked through to our blog to find themselves unexpectedly introduced to the 'complexity of vagueness' - potentially casting a whole new project perspective on E L James' 'playroom'.

Some of us though (myself included) have found it less easy to adapt to the online world of social media. An undue caution, lack of confidence, fear maybe of being misunderstood, being taken the wrong way, or just plainly putting oneself you there to get shot down? Something is certainly stopping me easily contributing online.

Its not that I'm not interested - I certainly spend my share of time mooching around Facebook, Twitter and Linked in sites - I do feel a bit of a voyeur though and I can appreciate how they could easily become addictive. I often ask myself, why do I want to waste time in these places? But I still do. Maybe not so surprising considering that research suggests that tweeting or checking emails may be harder to resist than more traditional urges.

There is also the dilemma of how to organise using social media for business and private life. If you operate in many different spheres where 'never the twain shall meet', what do you do - how do you keep things separate? And then there is just the sheer weirdness of a new language. Just look on Twitter to see what, to me, appears a complete gobbledegook of hash tags and hyperlinks.The reality of my wariness doesnt entirely stack up though. When I read the comments weve had on our SIG blogs and forums there is an overwhelming sense of support and collaboration, and no one appears to have said anything inappropriate.

What does concern me is that the comments we do get are mainly from within our own circle. Is what we are writing boring, is anyone actually interested or is everyone mostly like me - happy to just read and move on? We have the statistics on the hits and click-throughs but it doesnt really tell us if our communications have been understood, found useful or entertaining.

So maybe we need some resilience for the online world? For 2012, the People SIG has focused on the different aspects of resilience for people working in the project management community. As we go into 2013 I'm clear that we will be spending even more time in the virtual, online environment.

To build our resilience for the future we would welcome more 'hands to the pump'. All input and support with blogging, tweeting and commenting would be very gratefully received.

Want to get involved? Please get in touch - we would love to hear from you!


Posted by Jane Royden on 21st Dec 2012

About the Author
Since 2002, as a Director of E AND H, I’ve been involved with a range of projects, management roles and change programmes. We provide support to a range of organisations mainly in the public sector in the UK. Every day is different - new projects and new people, but often the same issues. My specialist field is in coaching and mentoring in the context of programme, project and change management. I’m a member of the APM People SIG and have been involved with the successful APM mentoring pilot scheme. I'm interested in identifying the sort of things that give us confidence as project, programme and change managers. What really makes the difference to our outlook, how we feel and ultimately what we deliver?

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