Is Your Blog Reactive or Proactive?

Filed as Features on August 23, 2007 11:57 am

I met a young blogger recently who says that she’s addicted to her feeds. She jumps on her news feeds the moment she crawls out of bed, sometimes before she even hits the bathroom. She wants to know what is going on so she can blog about it before everyone else wakes up.

She’s not a journalist. If anything, she admits that she’s a news junkie and regurgitist. She knows she’s addicted to her feeds.

I asked her if she thought much about what she posted on her blog.

She admitted that she didn’t have time to think. She only had an hour to read the feeds, write a post, take a shower, and head to work. Even during her work day, she’d secretly sneak peeks at the feeds and quickly blockquotes, links, and pastes into her blog if something of interest is found. Once she gets home, it’s back to the feeds, eating over her computer, looking for new bits of news to add to her blog.

She is a reactive blogger, reacting to the news and posting about it. Does she resemble you?

Another friend of mine calls herself a proactive blogger, one upon whom the responsibility of her post content on the world around her weighs heavily on her spirit. She thinks about what she wants to blog about for a long time, considering different perspectives and stances before putting it down in words on her blog.

She is annoyed at how long it takes for her to publish a blog post, feeling out-paced by others who publish more frequently, but she knows that if it isn’t “right” for her, if it doesn’t add to the conversation, blogging doesn’t work for her. She wants her writing to have meaning.

Does she resemble your blogging style?

Reactive or Proactive Blogger?

A proactive blogger is one who understands that they control the content on their blog, the content doesn’t control them. They read the same feeds, consider them carefully, and come up with their own perspective on the same sources rather. A proactive blogger takes time, responding with contemplation.

A reactive blogger blogs out of instinct, copying and pasting bits and pieces of the news and maybe adding a gut reaction and first impression to their blog post.

Is one better than the other?

There is a need for both. The issue is which one you want to be as a blogger – and which one you should be.

The Reactive Blogger

There is adrenaline rush in being a reactive blogger. You race to the news, you race to be first, there is glory in being one of the first out of the gate. It’s life in the journalism trenches, so to speak.

It’s exciting.

But is it worthwhile?

Does it add to the conversation about the news? Does it add to the news itself? Do you really say what you think, or just blog the first thoughts out of your head?

Do you often go back and look at what you’ve written and found that your first thoughts, your first impressions on the issue were the “right” ones for you? Are you really satisfied with what you blogged?

The Proactive Blogger

The proactive blogger is in control. She contemplates the issues, looks at what others have to say on the issue, and then comes up with the “right” thing to say. It’s not as exciting, but for a thinker, it’s a much more satisfying process.

Yet, is it the kind of blogger you wish to be?

A proactive blogger adds to the conversation, but it takes time to conjetate the information, time that could be spent more productively. Proactive bloggers understand that what they write in their blogs impacts others and could impact future perceptions and understandings of the issue at hand.

Time spent debating the issue internally can also create time and space for self-doubt, reconsideration, and over-thinking the issue.

Some bloggers envy the ability of reactive bloggers to trust their first instincts on an issue, but they still need the time to figure it all out so they say what they really want to say, no second chances.

Which One Are You?

If you are a reactive or proactive blogger and it is working for you, great. I’d love to know how it benefits you.

If being a reactive blogger is wearing you down, stop it.

If you are a proactive blogger, and that’s not working for you either, consider trusting your instincts more and see where that path leads you.

Which one are you?

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  1. TeresaCentric » links for 2007-08-24August 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm
  2. By Carolyn posted on August 24, 2007 at 8:51 am
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    Great post Lorelle! Being an introvert, it takes me awhile to ponder and post. Even in real time conversations, I cannot make a reactionary comment on a new topic. I need time to contemplate. Blogging is like emails, you don’t have to respond right away, you can actually take the time to think before you write.

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  3. By kenny g posted on August 25, 2007 at 1:12 am
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    what a great post. so thought out and understood, and right!(over wrong). great job.-kenny g

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  4. By pelf posted on August 25, 2007 at 6:00 am
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    Actually, I can’t tell whether I’m a reactive or a proactive blogger. Something is wrong with me? LOL.

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  5. By Better Blogging with Michael Martine posted on August 26, 2007 at 1:06 am
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    Considering that usually the reactive are reacting to the proactive, I’d rather be proactive.

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  6. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on August 26, 2007 at 1:29 pm
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    Michael, your comment made me stop and think. For the most part, many reactive bloggers reactive to a bit of news, just information put out, not often well thought out. The concept behind my analogy was for those who check the news and jump.

    But I also see the other side of the reactive bloggers responding immediately to the well-thought out piece. Thanks for making me see the bigger picture.

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  7. By Kristi posted on August 28, 2007 at 6:46 pm
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    I’m very introspective, and my deepest inner thoughts are usually what end up on my blog. I don’t blog to please other people, but of course it makes me happy to know when I help someone else or relate to someone else. I look at blogging very spiritually and look for ways to connect to the at large community, and I think often that can intertwine with what’s going on in the world and in our homes and families. It’s hard to make the distinction between passive and active.

    If I didn’t blog, I would still keep a journal somehow, and I’m sure much of it would be “reacting” (passive) to my day’s circumstances but putting the meaning of those circumstances together and trying to see how what happened and how it is growing me as a person (active). If I can’t learn from what is happening around and through me, I almost feel that it’s not worth posting. Some people are just better than others at articulating the lessons and conclusions they are drawing from a given day, and those are the kind of posts I enjoy reading and writing.

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  8. By L. Lewis posted on August 29, 2007 at 7:16 am
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    What a great article!
    Personaly, I find that if an article I am reading is “reactive” that there be a short summary of what is being reacted to, or a link to the original article, followed by the blogger’s point of view on the subject. I also enjoy them more if there are added facts and information. What I can’t stand is a regurgitation of someone else’s article or blog followed by “I feel this was a good article” or some other lame attempt at making it personal.
    “There is nothing new under the sun” (King Solomon) and this is especially true of the net. Chances are someone else has had the same idea and written about it somewhere. The trick is to make it unique. Add your personal experiences and point of view.
    Adding the flavor that is you is what makes any blog interesting. Be it “reactive” or “proactive”.

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  9. TechnologyTales.com | My type of bloggingAugust 31, 2007 at 1:05 pm

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