“So many people kept asking me why I didn’t have a blog that I decided to research it a bit.” Says La Duke. “I was concerned that I wouldn’t have time to keep it fresh and relevant” he explains, “There’s nothing worse than a website or a blog that doesn’t add content, and I was honestly afraid that the demands on my time would keep me from contributing blog content; I’d rather not blog than have a blog that only has new content once a month or so” says La Duke.
La Duke explains that much of his blog material comes from other pieces that aren’t quite as accessible to a wide audience. “I blogged about my up coming speech in Lima, Peru, for example,” (La Duke is off to Lima in late March to speak at the XIV International Symposium on Mining Safety, where he will present, Selling Safety In Tough Times a speech he also made at the 2009 National Safety Council in Orlando, FL last October) “it really helps me work some of the kinks out of early drafts of material that I will present at an upcoming event or a piece that I am doing for a magazine.”
The tone and structure of the pieces easily differentiate La Duke’s blogs from more formal pieces that he has presented at international venues or in print. “I’d describe my blogs as more like extensions of answers I’ve provided on LinkedIn or posts I’ve made in safety forums” says La Duke, “Like the stuff I’ve shared on the social networking sites, my blog is more free form, but I’m told that people find it more inviting and less a formidable read than some of my other works.”
An ex newspaper reporter and weekly columnist, La Duke is no stranger to print. “The digital age has changed forever how we get information, and I have mixed feelings about that. I remember typing my weekly stories on a manual typewriter on newsprint sheets and handing it off to an editor who marked it up with a red wax pencil—it wasn’t that long ago, we just didn’t have very good equipment.” La Duke smirks, “but seriously, the permanency of typing, cutting the story up into bits—literally—
As for what we can expect from La Duke’s blog, he is atypically tight lipped. “I don’t have a grand plan for the blog, I just wanted a place where I can sound out ideas with other safety professionals. La Duke’s blog can be found at www.Philladuke.wordpress.com. La Duke's blog has been temporarily suspended owing to a dispute over creative control of the blog. "I am reluctant to put my by-line on something over which I don't have complete creative control." says La Duke