Benjamin Franklin-Wise and Witty Business Communicator…Blogger?

On this holiday week, fellow history buffs and Benjamin Franklin aficionados, reflect on our founding fathers. From my own involvement in business-to-business social media, I suspect Ben would have eagerly adopted social media and spread the revolutionary word via a blog version of Poor Richard’’s Almanac.

Poor Richard's Almanac-Ben's BlogAlthough Benjamin Franklin may not have had an iPad or laptop to record his thoughts, nor the social web to spread them, his quill, printing press and colonial distribution methods worked well in his time.

Ben Franklin was known to have a sharp and witty mind, and a love of all things social. He enjoyed sharing his thoughts on various subjects in print, in his offices in Philadelphia, in the chambers of Independence Hall, and in the salons of Paris. He enjoyed stirring the pot and never shied from debate. Sound like any contemporary bloggers you know?

From the pages of Poor Richard’’s Almanac, some 18th century evidence of Ben’s blogger traits in his own, timeless words:

Be civil and sociable. Solid advice for any blogger.“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”
Although Ben Franklin was known to be a bit hot-headed and stubborn, he offers great advice on dealing with the negativity bloggers can face today.“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain. And most fools do.”

“He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.”

He believed in finding what was interesting to him and others and adding value to his reader’s lives.“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing.”
Ben understood that people did not want to be lectured to. Rather, they needed to be engaged and included in the conversation.“Tell me and I forget.

Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I learn.”

Ben Franklin clearly understood that writing an interesting article required research, time and hard work, and that the effort would eventually pay off.“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

“Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.”

Ultimately, Ben Franklin reminds us that if we have something to share, a perception or a point of view that is uniquely our own, do not let our fears impede us.“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”
Beyond blogging and social media, Ben offers perhaps the best advice for living our lives.“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

Do any of Ben Franklin’s thoughts touch a chord in you about your blogging and social media? And how could his advice change the way you look at social media?

B2B Blogging: Beyond the Basics