April 17 2008 by Ellen Roseman
It took me more than a year, but I reached a milestone. This post, my 100th, had better be good.
So, let me tell you 10 things I love about blogging:
1) There’s so much room to run things. As a newspaper columnist, I’m limited to 600 words, but here I can write at whatever length I want to. Even better, I can let the readers’ responses go on and on and on. Sometimes, you really need to hear all the details, every last one, not just an edited version.
2) I have a steady group of readers who show up regularly and speak their minds. Thanks, guys.
3) I’m part of a community of personal finance bloggers, some of whom have been doing this much longer than I have. Together, we’re helping to take the subjects of money and investing and debt (and consumer issues, in my case) out of the control of people with vested interests who have a point of view to expound. We’re opening the discussion to everyone.
4) I like the fact that people stumble upon this blog by accident, often while looking up something on Google. Tonight, I heard from Mandy, whose heart is broken because her best friend used her PIN to take money out of her bank account. She left six comments in a row, but I cut them down to three.
5) I love it when I write something late at night and wake up in the morning to find several comments there already. That’s what happened when I did this post on the financial lessons you didn’t learn when you were young.
6) Some posts, like the one on fitness clubs, take on a life of their own. People read these stories and get the urge to try doing something on their own. They cheer each other on and take confidence from each other’s successes. They learn how to be persistent and how to contact the right executive-level staff (along with names, email addresses and phone numbers).
7) When I ask a company to help someone, it helps when I can say the person has posted a comment on my blog. The grievance is out there in public for all to see, putting more pressure on the company to rectify it (as long as it’s legitimate).
8.) This is a place for employees to share what it’s like to work at the companies covered in the blog. You can see their experiences (and vitriol) in this post about energy sellers going door to door with deceptive sales pitches.
9) I like the way you can explore a subject in depth and show many sides to the argument. There are never just two sides. There are dozens. The arguments can get quite heated — incendiary, in fact — as you can see in this discussion of the ethics of using Indian call centres by a major bank. Traffic at the blog peaked in January while the debate was raging.
10) Companies may not like what their customers say here, but they can’t ignore it. Dare I say Bell? With almost 500 comments — and still going — Bell Blues continues to be the most active forum. I predict this will drop off soon and another customer-service slouch will take its place. Any guesses who this will be?