Hi, remember me? Trying (once again) to recommence blogging! There is a lot I like about blogging. I get a lot of goodies from it—i.e. benefits. But it is very hard in some ways too, and I give it up from time to time…hmmm, sounds a lot like maintaining other behaviors! So, let's take a look at my blogging behavior from a behavior change point of view.
One of my favorite ways for understanding behavior change is to use the questions that are laid out in the "Simplified Elicitation Methodology" (a formative research approach to gain insight into the barriers and facilitators an audience associates with a health behavior—Middlestadt, Bhattacharyya, Rosenbaum, Fishbein, and Shepherd, 1996). Over time, I have found this to be extremely helpful in understanding why people do—or don't do—a particular behavior. So what does this in entail?
This method, which I refer to as “Six Easy Questions,” consists of three pairs of questions. They are: 1) what are the good things that would come from doing behavior X, and what are the bad things that would come out of doing that behavior? 2) What would make it easier to do behavior X, and what would make it harder? And finally, 3) who would approve of my doing behavior X, and who would disapprove? What are the answers to these questions for my blogging behavior? (This feels somewhat like having a focus group with my navel!) 1) The good things that come out of blogging for me are that it gives me an opportunity to think out ideas in my head and try them out. I like the idea of being a though leader, of being able to teach and mentor from my experiences, and to learn from others. I like engaging the community of social marketers that is involved in behavior change. What are the bad things that come out of blogging for me? Nothing really! No downsides at all.
2) Okay, what makes blogging easier for me? Well, there is certainly no dearth of issues to write about! I have numerous experiences and interactions with others in the social marketing and behavior change community to call on. Having enough time to reflect and compose helps, also. Now, what makes it harder? This is a very rich vein to mine for me! First, for me, writing is like giving birth—painful! (A female friend of mine doubts I could know anything about this, but I know what I know.) I write well; the finished product is almost always good. But, just getting from the primary processes in my brain down to the coherent secondary process of the finished product is hard! Another thing, it's hard for me to find time to blog. My “day job” and my private consulting keep me busy. And then I do want to spend time with my family! So, it feels like it's hard for me to find time, or when I do find time, it’s at 2:30 or 3 o'clock in the morning when I am a “bear of very little brain” (as Winnie the Pooh says). Also, I don't have very good keyboard skills. Thus, there is a lot of editing to do, despite the help of spell check or spell correction on whatever device I'm using.
3) Finally, who would approve? Well, so far it seems everybody who reads the blog approves. Even people who aren’t readers think it is great I am blogging. No one disapproves (except my family doesn't like it when I take time away from them to blog!).
Alright, there is a map of the barriers, benefits and facilitators that I encounter when blogging. (Now you know more about me then you may have ever wanted to—or that I ever wanted you to!) Hopefully, this also provides you with an example of how to use the Six Easy Questions. Given that these are the barriers and benefits for me, what might be some interventions that I could put into place to move me along towards maintaining my blogging behavior? I thought of these:
Number One. Develop a publication schedule or calendar of various topics on which I can write. I have had one of these in the past, and it helped tremendously. I think it would help to do this again so that I'm never at a loss of content to write or that is fresh in my mind. Of course, I want it to be flexible enough that I can write about “breaking news,” too.
Number Two. I can easily talk about social marketing. I think it would be easier for me to compose a blog post just by talking about the subject and recording it. At least I can get my initial thoughts down. These usually come out pretty coherently. Then if I needed to make edits, I could do that. So, I will begin using a dictation program like Dragon Dictation, which I've used to compose other documents. (As a matter of fact, I'm composing this post now on my smart phone, using the dictation app that came with it!)
Number Three. I plan to talk to other successful bloggers—folks who are my social media angels, and ask for tips on how they're able to blog on a regular basis.
Number Four. I'm going to ask for expressions of support from friends and colleagues, for those times that I do blog. (Gifts of well brewed coffee and high-quality dark chocolate will also help! Hint, hint.)
Alright dear readers, what suggestions or "interventions" do you have to help me maintain my blogging behavior?! What about you? What are behaviors, either personal or professional, that you're trying to maintain? What have you found as barriers and facilitators? What's made it “fun, easy and popular” for you to maintain your chosen behaviors? I really want to hear back from you, so make sure to comment. And I encourage you to give the simplified elicitation methodology a try, if your behavior change program is not working the way you think it should. Then, make midcourse corrections. (Preferably, however, include it in your initial audience research before you even develop your interventions!)
I thank you deeply and sincerely for being a part of my blogging community and for engaging me here! And if you need an address to send that chocolate and coffee to, just let me know! See you here in a couple weeks, I promise! Sent from my iPhone