Tuesday, October 14, 2003

"Shadows and Blog": more about business/political blogs

Penny de Haviland over at Tech Central Station on where/why business and political party/candidate blogs will - and won't work. The important thing in maintaining one of these types of blogs is an authentic voice - without one, the blogosphere will slam you in a distributed, emergent way - and that hurts! Also: archives and google caches make blogging by politicians a potential danger: make one misstep in your blog, and between google's cache and the network of bloggers, your words will be recorded for posterity, eve if you delete that ill-advised post. Smart article, good insights!

Forward-looking companies realize that credibility and immediacy have considerable value and it makes sense to say it the way it is. That said, any company turning its blog over to an old-fashioned PR department and filling it with corporate-speak is in for a rude awakening when it sees what that rolling peer review called the Blogosphere has in store for it. The same applies to blogs set up by politicians: it is not enough to have a blog, you must write credibly and authentically, because not only will other blogs see through you, they will tell the world about it. Contrary to what Hollywood agents say, there is indeed such a thing as bad publicity. Bad blogging is worse than no blogging at all.

For this reason, although I am a blog evangelist, it is clear to me that a blog is not for everyone. For example, although some professional politicians have set up blogs, I suspect the first high-profile self-impalement due to some injudicious remark will see blogs by elected officials quietly fade away as the party whips and hierarchy realize the potential for archived blogged remarks coming back to haunt the author (and remember, Google caches do not care that you took the article down later). To be blunt, any business such as democratic politics which requires grave economy with the truth and promising the unobtainable is not going to find blogging a happy experience in the long run. Politicians are not the natural friends of commentary bloggers, they are their natural prey. Similarly, some companies will never have the necessary corporate culture to actually let their employees talk to the public without surrounding them with a deadening phalanx of PR consultants and lawyers who sanitize every word they type. Just having a blog is not enoughÂ… you must allow the writers to blog correctly.

- posted by laurie @ 10/14/2003 07:32:00 AM
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