You'd think this question would already be answered at a blogging conference. But it hasn't.

After I got over the thrill yesterday of rubbing shoulders with the blogging glitterati (OK, I lied; I haven't gotten over it yet), I realized there was a lot of stuff to tease through here.

The title of the conference, ClickZ Weblog Business Strategies, suggests we're going to address the notion of blogs as business tools. Attack it straight on and come away with some clearly defined how-to's and why's and where it's already happening so everyone can go back to their office and add "blogging" to their online marketing strategy.

Turns out it's more complicated than that.

Here are just a few of the issues that came up yesterday:

  • Where is the intersection between blogging and journalism? (that's a big question)
  • Technically, blogging is just a self-publishing tool; as a phenomenon it's much more than that. But what exactly?
  • How do you measure the ROI of a business (as opposed to personal) blog? Do you need to?
  • If it's a business blog, doesn't it need to be edited for fear of the blogger saying something damaging to the company?
  • If you edit a Web log, is it no longer a blog?

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Hal said on June 10, 2003 at 10:10 AM

Welcome to the blogoshpere!  I gotta believe you’ll get as many answers to your questions as there are people in attendance.  Let me offer this…blogging is a genre for evolving oneself and his/her identity in the world.  That takes authenticity and a (re)commitment to engage in the world as a beginner.  And if you do, oh what a ride!  Is there a business return on that?  Immeasurable!

Don Baker said on June 10, 2003 at 10:24 AM

Hi Debbie,
From your list of what’s important to the speakers, it looks like intense navel-gazing, much like what captivated the virtual-reality and cyberspace gurus a decade ago. Here’s my .02:

1. the intersection will be found for each company, individually. Obviously, blogs are the continuation of the corporate loss of control of their workers’ attention and intellectual capital, which began when email was introduced. Note the instances of media companies asking their journalists to refrain from blogging during the recent Iraq unpleasantness.

2. Only people intensely focused, or with not much else to do, worry about the phenomenon. It’s way too early to tell. Like with TV: threat or menace? Again, too soon to tell. ;->

3. Use the same ROI tools as for a website or an email campaign. If it’s being used for marketing, deploy all the tools you’d use for business. Also, everyone should read Andrew Sullivan’s Blogging Manifesto at: http://www.andrewsullivan.com/culture.php
He’s not even a marketeer, yet has figured out how to make thousands of $$ from his blog in a little over a year, using basic Web marketing tools, for goodness’ sake.

4. Only trusted writers should be given blog access—as usual, The New York Times offers the perfect example, in how it gives its trusted reporters easy access to the front page. ;->

5. Web logs—especially those written by the Blog Gods (see my previous post for name drops)—are often edited/corrected. The blogging softwares allow/encourage revisions of earlier posts. Plus, the Gods and their sycophants use the strikethrough device to show their changes in thought. We mortals can, too!

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Combs Charles said on May 3, 2004 at 08:31 AM

The shifts of Fortune test the reliability of friends.

Levenberg Karen said on June 30, 2004 at 10:16 AM

Describing is not knowing.


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I’ve been writing about corporate and CEO blogging and business use of social media for over a decade. I welcome your Comments if they are on topic. I delete them if inappropriate or spammy.

 

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