Saturday, April 17, 2004 — 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
David Weinberger, discussion leader
- Blogs seem to have underpeformed in businesses that would benefit: business that have high contact witgh their customers
the mid-90s: “Create your own homepage” software was all the rage. It
didn’t take off, but blogs — a variation on that theme — did
- “Maybe weblogs don’t fit very well in the business world”
- “What is the Blogging ROI?”
- Why aren’t businesses blogging?
- Which types, if any?
- What stops them?
- No business case
- Does blogging matter to business? It does if communication is key
Discussion on internal blogs
(i.e. blogs accessible only by those within the company
- There are legal issues: whatever appears on an internal blog could be considered property of the company
- The content of an internal blog could be subpoenaed
- Blogging as cheap knowledge management software: blogs let you look up solutions to problems found months ago
- Ethan Zuckerman: Prospect Foundation taking on blogging as an internal communcations tool.
- An interesting intersection of blogging and intellectual property: a biotech company’s lawyers:
- Don’t want the sales/marketing department blogging internally, as the entries may contain subpoena-able competitive info
- But they do want the scientists blogging internally so they can see their ideas and scour for what’s patentable
can be a useful way to get the message across within a company where
email fails. Email is often perceived as “permanent and negative”,
while the same thing said in an internal blog will not be seen in the
Discussion on external blogs
(i.e. blogs accessible to the public)
- What do you do when the rank and file are perceived as speaking “on behalf of company”?
marketing/PR department of a company would probably resist blogs: it
encroaches on their turf and surrenders their control of “the message”
- Legal department of a company would probably also resist blogs: headaches
dilemma: What if you’re a lawyer, you argue one side of a case in your
blog and then find yourself arguing the opposite in court? Can your
blog entry be used against you?
- Weinberger: Would CEOs even
blog? Don’t they still print out their email? [ Our CEO, Elliot Noss,
has probably forgotten more about email than I will ever learn. And
yes, he has a blog. — Joey ]
- Useful for companies with international clientele: it’s great at overcoming time zone and real-time issues
- It has been recommended to many companies to get a blog simply because it helps you get a better ranking on Google
- Examples of business blogging at businessblogconsulting.com (Rick Bruner’s blog)
fear of putting out the wrong message with a blog — We’ll all
eventually be able to embarrass each other via Google. Is that going to
happen in business?
- Weinberger: Will Prell ever have a blog for their shampoo?
- For small businesses that exist only online, blogs are useful
Zuckerman: Once worked with a Hollywood studio on a system that allowed
fans to create their own fan sites. The studio insisted that all sites
had to be vetted.
Blogs and perception of the company
- People know a fake when they see one — fauxblogs, like Raging Cow were a bad idea
- Blogger damage control: witness the Plaxo debacle. It got so bad that at PC Forum, their Privacy Officer had to respond
A cute phrase that came up during the discussion: “Blog-curious”
Weinberger: It doesn’t make sense for companies to just jump into blogging. They’re going to read them first.