Via Scott Knowles I found this essay on corporate blogging:
InfoWorld's list of disruptive technologies for 2003 included open source, self-service CRM, digital identity, and my personal favorite, weblogs. How can a simple web-based journal be "disruptive?"
Two important characteristics of blogs are that they are written by a person who is knowledgeable and passionate about the topic, and they are written in a "real voice." This is a cosmic shift from the marketing and public relations materials that are the staple of business communications.
Often, when information goes through a formal marketing or PR process, the end result is an attractive, expensive, stale, diluted document written in corporatespeak. This result is generally due not to any incompetence or malevolence on the part of corporate communicators but to the processes that have evolved to accommodate the costs and standards of print technology. As a result, the edge, the authenticity, and the voice of the professional speaking to his fellow professionals are lost.
Blogs offer the human voice, which can be loud, controversial, and even wacky. But the realness of the blog inspires trust and piques people's curiosity. A blog can create a community and a dynamic discussion
What I find interesting is that Microsoft has a lot of their staff blogging, with the blessings of management. They may well be on to something. Even when I was traveling extensively, I did not reach as many people as I do with this blog. I got one to one feedback, which was good - but little discussion, as a comment from customer A rarely impacted the thought processes of customer B. What will be interesting to watch is how many corporate blogs attempt to go out with the same "blow dried" sensibility that they use in standard corporate communications....