Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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December 19, 2005

Rich Karlgaard Of, Thoughts On The Value Of Blogging

Rich Karlgaard writes about his experiences after blogging for two months on Here's my response to his article.

Rich thought, "Blogging is not over hyped."

Rich your right, blogging to me is really a conversation between people that's open to the public on the World Wide Web. For me I don't define blogging to websites called blogs, I think this way of communicating encompasses many electronic designs including forums. But blogs really illustrate the collaborative strengths of the web. As for your discussion about self-actualization, makes sense to me, if everyone else is using the web to communicate, why wouldn't you want to blog?

Rich went on to state, "On don't judge blogging by the "average" blog."

Again Rich is right, most blogs don't have any relevancy to Rich or me. Rich thought a number of blogs are "amateurish," I would suggest the "amateurish," nature of blogs can actually be an advantage. As an amateurish voice may be perceived as the customer's real voice both for fellow customers and product managers. Several companies in the industry are basing their business models on research into the vast majority of blog content, including Cymfony, intelliseek's BrandPulse, BuzzMetrics and Umbria.

Rich mentioned Daniel Lyon's article in Forbes, "Attack of the blogs," where Daniel Lyon described a number of bloggers who attacked companies. I thought Daniel Lyon's article did not give bloggers a fair review overall. And stated this in my blog post, "Forbes Article Claims Microsoft, IBM, SUN & Oracle Bloggers are part of an Online Lynch Mob."

Rich basically wrote how he thought that the majority of bloggers would respond positively to a company if they act responsively, and gave a great example of an airplane manufacturer who failed to be transparent with their audience and paid the price in ridicule.

Rich is right as long as a company is decent and transparent about its actions. Most bloggers will treat the company fairly. Though Daniel Lyons is also right that sometimes a company might be attacked aggressively, but the way to respond is again with openness and transparency. If you build enough of an audience they will probably also come to your rescue.

In an interview for case study with Microsoft earlier this year George Pulikkathara, Marketing Manager and founder of MSDN Webcasts, describes the spelling mistake incident. Where a customer found a spelling mistake with a Microsoft product, and blogged about the issue. Microsoft bloggers responded to the customer's blog post a few days later. I followed up with the customer later in the year to determine check the facts of the case as a forum poster had questioned my sanity in believing a Microsoft employee. The story checked out, but also the customer described how he has changed his perceptions of Microsoft because of blogging from negative to neutral. Some would say this is not great progress but I think it demonstrates how blogging can inspire people to consider a company in a different way by just demonstrating that 'just people' run the company.

Posted by johncass at December 19, 2005 4:39 PM

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