Corporate Blogging Survey 2005
 
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December 15, 2005

Blog Design Reveals A Company's Level of Transparency

Andy Wibbels on the Instant Global Impact blog highlights the term synthetic transparency. Andy thinks the term has value and he states that synthetic transparency, “describes the tendency to manage perceptions and not actually address problems. It targets that ‘OMG we have a blog we are totally open now (with comments off, trackbacks off, no contact form, no byline, no bio Info and third person writing).?

I wonder if a blog design does automatically convey the impression of openness, or is it the elements of blog design trackbacks, and comments that give the impression of openness?

I’ve stated this before in the post, “Using ‘Synthetic Transparency’ to set Expectations on the level Transparency Found on your Corporate Blog?, I think a web owner can do what they want with their website. However, if you want to work and have a dialogue with an online community, if you hope to build successful relationships and standing in a community you have to learn their norms of communicating and play by their rules.

So Andy I must disagree, I think that a company is being transparent when they turn off comments, a company is basically showing by blog design they don’t want to accept comments and visitors will make their own conclusions about the website design. The design is a statement in itself about a company’s level of transparency.

However, if comments are turned on, but only certain comments are accepted, even though those comments might be legitimate and thoughtful comments then that is a case of synthetic transparency.

Posted by johncass at December 15, 2005 10:21 PM

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