Blah blah blogging. It feels that way sometimes doesn’t it? With so much noise on the Internet, it’s hard to pick out the diamonds in the rough. But they’re worth it, and there’s a lot to be learned from those who are taking the time to share their knowledge and wit (yes, they’re generally witty) with us.

The definition of blogging has transformed and will continue to. A term once exclusively reserved for those spitting out 500-700 word monologues on platforms like WordPress and Squidoo, blogging can mean all sorts of things today. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was with a wine blogger whose sole platform is Instagram, which illustrates the way denizens of the Internet are starting to express themselves more with images than words. And this, my friends, is where I think the game will get more fun.

I’m not so sure the insurance industry can fully utilize the current playing-with-images phenomenon, but we can add it to our treasure chest of digital tools. (At a minimum, it can add some spark beyond store-bought images of insurance policies and canned pictures of smiling babies.)

And while we may not have many Instagram bloggers, we still have a lot of great online resources out there. I don’t get involved too much with industry chat rooms and the like — too much negativity and conspiracy theory thinking from the commenters for my tastes. But I do spend time following peers and other digital marketers who work in insurance on the Internet. Here are a few of my favorite resources:

Insurance Inbound Marketing is a Google+ group run by Ryan Hanley. With an insurance background and a love for content marketing, he’s got the perfect blend to manage a group like this. Contrary to my previous statement, this is a chat room, but Ryan keeps it moving at warp speed and with a positive tone.

Another one to keep your eyes on is Sheryl Brown, social media coordinator for Ash Brokerage. You can find her on Twitter @bionicsocialite and on her blog. What to really watch with Sheryl? How she digitally networks and connects with thought leaders in the industry. She’s the Tasmanian Devil of Internet marketing and insurance.

When it comes to a true agent resource, my blog of choice comes from Pinney Insurance. They’ve got a modern day edge to what they preach and are on the forefront of technology advancements in our industry. A nice blend of old school and new school, for sure.

See also: 9 smart financial bloggers you need to know

If you’re not already familiar with The LIFE Foundation’s website, get there. They’ve got all sorts of content and materials you can use that’s relevant and easy to use. Plus, if you’re a member of NAIFA, you can get listed in their directory. And as you probably already know, they promote Life Insurance Awareness Month like nobody’s business every September with a ton of tools for any agent to use.

These are obviously just a few of many, but they’re the standouts in my mind. We’ve been slow as an industry to embrace the land of the digital, but at this point, I think we can confidently say it’s here to stay and is only getting bigger and better.

However, I’ll go back to something I said a few posts ago in that we have a responsibility, as conscientious and considerate members of our community, to be active on the Internet and do it in a responsible way. There are too many prominent voices on the web already working against us. Names withheld to protect the not-so-innocent.

 

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