“If you’re not blogging, you’re an idiot,” management uber-guru Tom Peters told hundreds of attendees at the 27th annual Inc. 5000 conference in Washington DC. “No single thing in the last 15 years has been more important to me professionally than blogging… It’s changed my thinking, it’s changed my outlook… it’s the best damn marketing tool and it’s free.”

In response to a question from moderator Susan Sobbott, president of AmEx OPEN (“True or False? You have control over your brand”), Tom said his perception of “brand” has changed since he started blogging in July 2004 (his first post was an enthusiastic review of Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention). “The brand is now to a significant degree the quality of the conversation… and the conversation IS the brand,” he said.

Fellow panelist Seth Godin agreed: “What matters is the humility that comes from writing (a blog), that forces you to describe why you did something. It doesn’t matter if anyone is reading your blog.

Below Tom reprises how blogging has changed his life and his business.