Scoble made a long post awhile back on blogging, podcasting, and marketing. Here's an interesting exchange with Dave Winer:
And, in reaction to one of my answers:
"I'm getting some marketing spin here."
Goodness, what does Winer think blogging and podcasting are all about? It's all marketing spin. Scoble apologizes for that further down, but there's no apology necessary - we all do it. We all have whatever biases we bring to the table - personal, political, technological. What that means is that any conversation we have is - to some extent - spin. It gets somewhat more complex for those of us who are corporate bloggers:
In all honesty, I don't talk in public quite as freely as I do in private. For instance, I don't swear in public, but have been known to do so with my friends. I do a few other things in private that I don't do in public too.
I also don't talk about everything I think about what Microsoft is doing in public. Why? Cause I have to think about the dozens of constituencies that are listening and reading. My weblog, for instance, recently was forwarded around a competitor of Microsoft's, who'll stay unnamed here, (a guy who worked there told me that). I know people at Apple and Google and IBM and Oracle who read me. So, obviously, I'm not going to discuss things on my weblog that could help our competitors.
I think that's pretty clear, but wanted to disclose that it wasn't honest of me to say that what I say when the microphone is open is the same as what I'd say when the microphone is off.
"Do you feel you could say anything about Microsoft on your weblog?" Dave asked.
I said I do. But, clearly, that's not correct either. I can't say what's in Longhorn that hasn't been discussed in public (and there's a lot that hasn't been yet). I can't discuss undergoing legal issues. I can't discuss HR issues. I can't disclose financial results (assuming I knew them, which I don't) before they are released by officers' of the company. I do feel free to criticise the company when I see they could be doing something better (look at my comparison of Google vs. MSN's results, or read my memos to Bill Gates).
Clearly, most of us in a corporate blogging role are not completely free to speak our minds on all topics. Sometimes there's a policy - other times it's self censorship. In my case, I avoid certain topics completely - politics, for instance. There's no possible upside to that topic so far as I'm concerned - I'm trying to be a Smalltalk evangelist, and people who disagree with me politically could still be convinced technically. I also avoid dirty laundry. There are some aspects to the "way things work" in any outfit that are silly (or even stupid). Again, there's no upside to bringing those things up here. In some cases, my critiques could simply be my opinion, and in other cases, bringing them up here would make them harder to address internally. In other words, silence does not imply acceptance or agreement in all cases :)