Last post I looked at the John Mackey disaster and introduced the idea of blogging as an entry point to Web 2.0, an idea that needs to be clarified before continuing. Rather than attempting to answer the question, “What is Web 2.0“, I will focus on some key aspects of blogging for business communicators with a special nod to The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Speaking to humans in a human voice:
Catch the Cluetrain! Even before Web 2.0 the WWW was undermining the monolithic corporate voice and introducing human voices to business communication. Blogging is a great way to develop a human voice, one post at a time, in a relatively controlled environment. You can get into trouble on a blog but you can also discover the joys of building community by joining the conversation.
Conversations create communities:
So much of Web 2.0 is about conversations between individuals that also function as content. Blog comments are a great way to figure out how to move beyond simply broadcasting one’s human voice and enter into dialogue. Such dialogue is a major aspect of the creation of online communities. The biggest danger here is in focusing on cheap content production and forgetting the conversation.
Low cost content management:
Yet cheap content is part of the appeal or, better put, lightweight, low budget operations can generate supersized results. In particular, hosted blogging introduced low cost content management that bundles software, hosting, tech support [sometimes] and lots of third party add-ons while leveraging the fact that it’s easy to write a few lines and post a graphic. The huge downside here is that good blogging, not to mention great blogging, isn’t as easy as it looks and adding blogging to the workload of already overworked employees creates burnout and bad blogging.
WordPress plugins are just one pre-Facebook example of the power of opening up one’s platform to outside developers. One of the coolest things about blogging software is that, unlike Facebook which is still a walled garden or data roach motel, this openness goes both ways. I’ll save my comments on linking out for another post.
Distribution and syndication:
The default mode for blogging software typically includes an atom and/or rss feed. Blogs are primed for distribution and syndication and such feeds allow one to easily create newsletters and also allow others to syndicate as much content as one is willing to share. Furthermore, feeds create microchunkable flows which can be monetized, if needed, or simply deployed to expand one’s presence. This easy distribution also gives content companies a way to start exploring free content without necessarily giving it all away.
These are only some of the examples of how blogging can introduce corporate communications to a Web 2.0 framework or perspective.
Please suggest your own in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
I’d like to recognize my man Chris Thilk at Movie Marketing Madness for being the first blogger of which I’m aware to comment on my new focus on the business of blogging. That’s great cause I’ve enjoyed watching Chris take his blog from a text only version at Blogger to an even more enjoyable, graphics rich version at its own domain. He even claims my encouragement to do so helped!
Movie Marketing Madness is a great example of how a B2B blog can also function as a B2C blog on the open web, another topic for a future post.
Clyde Smith • ProHipHop: Hip Hop Marketing & Business News