Last call to be a ‘bloggers’ circle’ pioneer

July 17, 2009 by
Filed under: The RSA 

Monday sees the launch of ‘bloggers’ circle’. This was an idea first developed by my old chum Matt Cain following up comments on this site. The RSA has given a small amount of money for the limited start up costs.

Bloggers’ circle is inspired by three reflections on the blogosphere:

• There are too many writers chasing too few readers. Most bloggers have only their own site as a platform. This means it is hard for them to compete with bloggers who have a mass media outlet, like a national newspaper or broadcaster.  ‘Amateur’ bloggers need to collaborate to provide each other with a platform for their content.

• Bloggers are day to day scribblers but, like any writer, there are times when they feel they have hit the spot – a post that really deserves to be more widely read and discussed. But what can a blogger do to get these posts through to a wider audience than usual?

• Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes and with a million and one perspectives on the world. But blogging isn’t just self indulgent rambling. It is a particular form of expression with its own conventions and qualities. To promote their art, bloggers should be able to put aside differences of opinion and recognise what makes a great blog post. Bloggers’ circle is a way to develop and celebrate the art of the great post.

The collaborative rules of bloggers’ circle involve members submitting up to five posts a month which they think deserve wider consumption. In return members are required at least twice a month to mention and link to one of the posts recommended by their peers. To provide an extra incentive there will be a post of the month for the most cross referenced post, and there is even a cash prize for the first month.

Matt has an initial group of thirty or so bloggers signed up, including yours truly, but I know he would welcome other people. At this first stage, the task of the circle members is to make it work. Like most web-based innovations the idea is bound to metamorphose into something slightly, or even radically, different to the vision of its initial architects.

We are starting small and maybe we won’t succeed but it’s always worth having a dream. Imagine if there were hundreds or even thousands of amateur bloggers signed up so that the best content we produce gained the kind of impact and recognition that is now generally restricted to professional journalists. Also think about what impact this could have in promoting those parts of the blogosphere which are collaborative, respectful and creative.



  • Sandy Trickett

    Hi Matthew,

    I am new to this, a new Fellow and a disabled member of society. I have only just seen this bloggers call and do not yet have a blog, but I will by tomorrow night!! I hope that will not be too late for me to join the circle. My theme will be my daily trials, tribulations and small successes as a disabled member of this global community and the physical one out there!!! Much more difficult to negotiate and deal with. I hope it will interest people and give them an insight into the world from two wheels instead of two legs, certainly the oxygen is not so thin down here!! I do feel that that at present there is a gap in the market, if you like, in the voice of people such as me and I hope that I can help fill that gap and enhance readers embracement and understanding of my world and the people I traverse in that world, the good, the bad and the indifferent !!

    • matthewtaylor

      Hi Sandy

      Thanks for this

      I am sure if you e-mail Bloggers Circle Matt Cain who manages it can explain how to join

  • David Wilcox

    Not sure if I’m in the circle or not … but it is a great idea, and underpinned by this article from Michael Gilbert. In it he argues that the blogs of nonprofit CEOs should be seen as a relationship-building tool, not just a publication. Building connections through a circle, and outwards from there, is a great way to do that.
    One thing at a time – but it could also work very well within the emerging RSA online networks as well as outside. Ask people to blog on their networks, encouraged at first by posts from Matthew, and then by each other. Great demonstration of leadership 2.0.

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