Simon Hoggart is the wickedly smart political columnist for The Guardian, one of the UK’s most venerable newspapers. He and his wife Alyson also happen to be longtime friends.

He’s somehow managed to work in a reference to The Corporate Blogging Book in his Saturday column today (thanks Simon!). As always, he’s both funny and right on point.

He does slip in one remark that’s *not* politically correct. We Americans obsess over being politically correct. The Brits – and particularly British journalists – don’t care about that sort of thing. Which, frankly, I find rather refreshing.

“My friend Debbie Weil breezes into town next week to
promote her new book about corporate blogging. This is the technique
that allows companies to adopt the same relaxed, personal tone that a
real blog has. The business might be very small – a boutique winery or
cheesemaker, perhaps, or it could sell reed baskets woven by
HIV-positive Namibians [the, er, un-PC comment] – or it might be vast, so that if you complain
to General Motors that your car doesn’t work, instead of a
word-processed brush-off, you get a message saying, for example: “Oh,
man, bummer: (Listen, it’s way uncool for GM to sell you something that
fails to meet our quality specification targets).” Whether you get your
car fixed is another matter.

Apparently there will be something
like 80,000 blogs worldwide by the end of this year, and according to
the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, the number is doubling every six
months. “And do you know what the average number of readers is? One –
the blogger!” he said.”
– Simon Hoggart, The Guardian Unlimited (14 October 2006 column)

Ed Note: correction – there are currently more than 55 million blogs worldwide. See Technorati’s August 2006 State of the Blogosphere report.

Blogger Meet-Up in London on Wednesday 18 October

Yes I’m off to London on Monday for about 10 days. To speak at two conferences (here and here) and to promote the UK edition of my book, published by Piatkus. I’ve got a live interview set up with Sky News, scheduled for Friday 20 Oct. (eegads… but should be fun).

Neville Hobson and I are planning a Blogger Meet-Up in London on Wednesday evening, Oct. 18th. Leave a comment on my blog here or on Neville’s blog here if you can join us. Details TK.