Here's a nifty little "why blogs don't work" article from Jesse Taylor: Why Smart Companies don't use corporate weblogs. Here's the crux of his rationale:
Public weblogs have very low accountability, and they return no information or insight back to the author about their audience. Authentic customer communication is hard to come by and the fact that weblogs do not gather information about the viewer means that weblogs are just another publishing vehicle that is no more valuable than the website maintained today.
Well, hold on a second there. With a stock corporate website, there's no reason to visit more than once. It rarely changes, and there's hardly ever anything worth reading there. With a blog, you get the voice of an actual person who actually cares about their product(s) - go read Scoble for awhile, for instance. Whether you like MS, hate MS, or don't care about MS, you can always get a decent feel for what's going on there from his blog, and from the channel 9 site that he promotes. What about the main MS site? Nothing but those gosh awful, insulting "dinosaur" ads for Office.
But wait - Taylor's article is more disingenuous than that - it's actually a pitch for some kind of hopeless social networking system:
Blogworking is a combination of social and business networking within a like minded community, by way of weblog publishing. Blogworking allows members to authentically communicate their ideas in a fun and safe way, while establishing themselves as active enthusiasts or thought leaders within that community. This addition compliments traditional weblogs by combining authorship, content and information with accountability, authenticity and visibility.
That's right folks - you should sign up for a service that's invisible to your potential market, and costs you money as an added bonus! Steve Rubel agrees, it would seem.