Blog-Blond: I'm impressed with your networking prowess and generosity in the Blogosphere. You take the time to get around and manage to comment on so many blogs. How much time do you spend every day networking and commenting on other blogs? Do you have a schedule where you rotate to different blogs or a list of your favourites? Are you a subscriber? Please share with us some wisdom on time management in the blogosphere.
RennyBA: Well, calling myself a network evangelist, I network all the time: professionally as well as in Blogsphere. Blogging is just a hobby and I probably spend three or four hours a day, posting, commenting and socializing at MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube and such. I’m an always on person, so this happens through out the day as I never go anywhere without my computer. Keep in mind then that I seldom watch TV (if not on my computer then – news and sports from Norway when abroad!), other then from the corner of my eye as my laptop is always in the living room. I have a blogroll (about 80), and try to get through it to comment at least once a week. If I find new visitors, I try the best I can to return their favor. Seldom I subscribe, but use Google Reader to keep track of what’s going on in the world.
Blog-Blond: I read your blog received a travel award. What other honors have been bestowed upon your blog which I don't know about?
RennyBA: Thanks for asking: The most exciting was ‘European Best Blog’ for 2007. In 2006 I was awarded ‘Blogs of Summer’ and for a while I was on top for ‘Blogging to Fame’ last year. I might as well mention ‘The Power of Schmoozing’ and there are quite a few more. You’ll find them all on my Awards page.
Blog-Blond: You do a bang-up job writing about your country, the food, the people you hang with, and the places you travel. You've made a lot of friends through blogging and networking no doubt. How many of these online contacts have you actually met in real life? Do you or they attempt to make real-life contact, or do you mostly connect online?
RennyBA: I’ve met Charles (my blog designer) in Bergen, Norway and Mark moving from the Philippines to Oslo. Then David Gurteen; I met him professionally in my work at The Norwegian Computer Society as we both are networkers and share interest in Story Telling. I should also mention TorAa, who is a colleague in the IT business from Norway and maybe the most exciting: My blog friend Claudie has invited me to a Blog Gathering in south of France in August 2009 where we’ll meet a bunch of other blog friends too. I am also planning a similar gathering in Oslo summer 2010.
Blog-Blond: When you began blogging, were you one of the 'early adopters' in your crowd of friends? I know your lovely wife posts on her blog as well. Which one of you began blogging first, and how did the other one perceive the other's new blogging passion?
RennyBA: I started almost three years ago when I was giving a lecture at the Norwegian School of Management in modern communication. Blogging was one of the themes of course, and I wanted to give it a try myself. Then I was hooked. I was one of the first of my peers to start actively blogging.
My wife has always been very supportive of me and has helped me a lot – since my native tongue isn’t English, its great to have a proof reader to make it fluent, you know. I’ve been encouraging her to start her own for a long time, but she first decided to get serious about it in January 2008.
Blog-Blond: Do you use an iPhone or Blackberry to keep in touch when you're not near your computer? If so, what do you recommend for bloggers?
RennyBA: I stick to Nokia and have had plenty of models for over 10 years. I could use it to post on my blog or notes at FaceBook and of course to upload photos on Flickr as well as update my Twitter. But I’m seldom away from my computer, so mostly I do it from there. I very often use my Nokia mobile phone for taking pictures though – its always on my belt and since my blog is about my daily life, I often capture things impulsively during the day to illustrate my posts.
Blog-Blond: Which networking group (such as Facebook or Linked-In for example) has assisted you the most in your business? Have these contacts prospered your business? BTW, what is your business?
RennyBA: To me FaceBook is a social platform and of course I enjoy it a lot. However, LinkedIn is for business and with almost 1,000 contacts it enhances my business a lot, especially since I’m working on a European project called EUCIP (European Certification of Informatics Professionals). To make it short: ‘We are driving the IT-Professional competence in Europe’.
Blog-Blond: What kind of blogs do you read most often: business or personal blogs?
RennyBA: Surprisingly (to me too!), I don’t read many business blogs regularly. If so, most of them are about corporate blogging and how they influence on business, SEO or advance blog tools.
Blog-Blond: Share with us some favourite blogging tips.
RennyBA: Find your personal style, be honest, stick to the theme of your blog and give your readers something substantial– help them learn something and then they will come back. Some Link Love and tagging is great too, but let it be up to them to return the favour! Be polite: Reply on their comments and visit your commenter’s as well as be active in BlogCatalog, MyBlogLog and other bloggers communities.
Let me end with one of my sayings: ‘It’s a Givers Gain’ – the more you give of yourself, the more you get.