This week, I posted the first of what may prove to be a series of controversial blog posts on the SAP community network (known to members as SCN).
The posts won’t be controversial so much for the content itself (although I hope that that happens eventually) as for the way I’m presenting it.
I’m going to channel other people’s ideas, not my own. You can read the entire post here. It introduces me to the community and explains what I’m planning to do.
They may not like it and you may not either.
But I think what I’m proposing is a necessary blend of realism and good ideas. Others call it ghost writing.
As I say in the SCN post and as I’ve mentioned here plenty of times, I think we are kidding ourselves if we think that many of our best SMEs are going to take the time to blog. And many who do would be better off getting some help.
I wanted to present the core arguments here to see what you think. I think that if we limit the discussion only to those subject matter experts who have the time and skills to blog, we’re missing out.
Here my arguments for letting me present others’ ideas from the SCN post and adapted for your consideration here:
- Most people—even really smart people—can’t write worth a damn. Why do we assume that anyone can channel passion into his or her writing?
- Social media is biased toward English. Most of the people I speak to at SAP are German and while most Germans are amazingly skilled at English, that skill rarely translates to the written word.
- It’s not about the style, it’s about the ideas. One of the best aspects of social media is the opportunity to put ideas to the community and gather feedback. I’m excited about the prospect of not just presenting ideas to the SCN community but also in building ideas with this community. As I interview SMEs around SAP and external influencers like analysts and customers, I want to be able to share the raw ideas in their earliest stages so that I can inform people and get their feedback.
- Transparency is the “hidden” problem. I think what people object to most about ghost writing is that the real people behind the prose are hidden. I will always blog as myself, introduce the ideas myself, and will always reveal whose ideas I’m channeling. I will attempt to respond to all comments myself, based on the work I’m doing with the SMEs. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll go to them and get the answer and come back with it. I’ll also name the writers that I have working with the SMEs as we are doing interviews and working towards the “final” products: white papers, videos, etc.
What are your arguments (for and against)?