Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gunslingers with itchy trigger fingers

That's how Businessweek described bloggers in its story on corporate blogging. Take a look:

... [E]stablishing a corporate blog is not a risk-free proposition. The blogosphere is full of quasi-journalistic gunslingers with anticorporate leanings and itchy trigger fingers. If your blog falls afoul of their unwritten code—as it almost surely will—they'll shoot first and think later. Having a blog can actually make your company a more inviting target.

Interestingly, the story begins with pitfalls of corporate blogging, and only after recounting some scary stories does it move on to what the possible advantages might be.

... By providing companies with unvarnished feedback from customers, it can serve as an early-warning system for product or service problems. It can also provide an easy and inexpensive way to deliver specialized information to narrow segments of the market. And because subscribing to a blog is a snap, it can be a great way to distribute technical updates, new product announcements, and other periodic messages.

It's a pity the article doesn't mention the Official Google Blog. Google uses it to announce product launches, feature launches, and programming contests. It also uses it to get across its views on important policies, and legal and regulatory battles. When it also throws in occasional feel-good stories and medical advice for geeks, the effect is about right. Sure, it's a tightly controlled blog, but you wouldn't want some itchy-fingered' blogger taking over your company's blog and making a mess of it, would you?