I had a meeting with a lovely new client today and part way through the conversation they mentioned that the had been looking for my mobile number online, when typing my name into Google though you’re faced with an abundance of the messages that I leave on mailing lists all over the globe, I wish I could say that they stumbled across one of the messages in which I was helping someone but sadly it was one of the *few* where I was asking for help.
It left me thinking about how careful you have to be when sending out any sort of correspondence. We’ve only recently started blogging and it’s taken some soul searching to start -for two reasons primarily, the first is if people see a huge number of posts while you’re doing their project -does that mean you’re not doing their project? The second was because of the nature/tone a blog can take -should it be kept strictly business or have a personal aspect, should you discuss ideas you’ve come up with to help others or should you not let the client/the competition know how you worked something out?
Rather than operating under some guise like Eremo or BigTed on a public blog network, I decided that it would be better to have complete transparency as in reality we really don’t have anything to hide but we do have a lot to share, we’re often finding quirks in our environment or useful applications that someone else is bound to come across and they would be grateful of our post.
In regards the aspect of blogging during a client’s project, every developer knows that sometimes you hit a problem in your code and you really don’t know which way to turn. When getting to that point I’ve always encouraged people to take a step back, surf the web for a while, go outside for a walk and you’re bound to find the answer as soon as you come back. In addition to this, so far nearly even blog post I’ve made has been out of office hours and although Craig hasn’t really started his blog yet I expect the majority of his will be the same -so fear not oh dear client, we’ll get back to your project forthwith!
For some reason though I never thought I would see the day that I was being Googled, which is odd as I know there are many egomaniacs out there Googling for their name every day! I knew I was out there but it makes you think about all those archived mailing lists that are just waiting to be found!
Despite being found on Google, I’m not going to change the stance we take on mailing people, I like to think that we’ve always been open and honest with every business transaction we’ve been involved in but I don’t want the client to be left with the impression that we’re incompetent. At the end of the day, there’s bound to be something they’re unsure on and could do with a few pointers from someone that’s "been there and done that" so to speak, so when it’s not us, I like to think we’re able to offer the experience.
Update: I was thinking about this after posting it and thought it would be a good test of our SEO skills to keep the "good" messages associated with The Site Doctor and me (Tim Gaunt) at the top of the Search Engines!
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