Thursday, August 25, 2005

Corporate Blogging Is Not For Everyone--Therein Lies The Opportunity

Recently, we were working with a very large company on a potential blog. After much discussion, the executives decided that a blog was not appropriate for the company. And it was probably the right decision. The company is primarily a one-way communicator, and because of its business, cannot risk (or tolerate) much dissent or negative feedback--particularly in an open forum like a blog.

It occurred to me that this is probably true of a great many larger/legacy enterprises. For them, there is little to be gained and much to be risked. So as far as communications goes, this company and others will generally have to rely on one-way communications like press releases, or "non public" feedback mechanisms like market research and customer satisfaction surveys.

But for smaller companies (and those less risk averse) , the opportunities and advantages to blogging are great. While their larger competitors rely on one-way communications, they can acheive speed in their feedback loops through the immediacy of blogs. They can build communities of customers and foster evangelists through dialog and that evangelism can be spread quickly through the power of the web. And while they can continue to create press releases, they don't necessarily have to wait for journalists and others to consider their communications "news. " They can say what they want, when they want. And they can do so quickly.

My bet is that you will indeed see more larger companies blogging, but that they will be controlled blog-like affairs that don't go "all the way." It will be smaller, less risk averse companies that make the best use of blogs--and best use them to their advantage.

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