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How spinning theories can get a blogger in trouble


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June 03, 2005

How spinning theories can get a blogger in trouble

Stephen Baker

Embarrassing moment in a meeting yesterday. We were talking about blogging (what else?) and I mentioned that two of the most gung-ho blogging companies--Microsoft and Sun--had sluggish growth, while less blog-happy Google and Apple were leaping ahead in the marketplace. Could it be that employees at Sun and Microsoft were looking for excitement outside their walls, while Google and Apple found plenty to keep them engaged inside?

It was just a theory, probably little more than hot air. But I realized as people turned toward me that it begged the question about...Me! I wasn't blogging because we were short on excitement here on the 43rd floor, was I? I sputtered for a second before unleashing that magic word from the dot-com days: Synergy! We're part of the product. With that, I think I ducked the bullet.

12:05 PM

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There's irony here. How could anyone fault you, of all people, for looking through blogs...

With all of the internet security software at companies, surfing on company time even for legitimate research that is part of my job, makes me hesitate. It seems that companies forgive quite a bit, as long as that person is considered valuable.

Regarding the growth of Google and Apple, their current concepts are working. Microsoft and Sun seem to be exploring new ways to grow. A hurting company is often desperate for new ideas. Will Google and Apple miss out? Probably not, because they will be learining from the mistakes of others.

So the causal relationship becomes: Is Sun and Microsoft failing because of blogs, or despite them?

Posted by: Michael Hogan at June 5, 2005 07:22 PM

How spinning theories can get a blogger in trouble

Stephen, you may have ducked the bullet; however, the bomb is on the way. And spinning theories didn't get you into trouble, but miss-judging the situation did.

You see, I believe your foray in blogs and blogging has been a failure. Now, I recognize that I am making a very early judgment, but, if I am right you can change your strategy so that this effort will appear to be part of a larger strategy designed to serve your customers better.

As a member of the mainstream media, MSM, you have an obligation to continue the work of professional journalism, researching and writing stories. You have the organization, the manpower, the facilities, the contacts and the distribution.

It is a serious mistake to get yourself wound up in the world of amateur journalism. The best you can hope for is a good line of communication between the two worlds.

Obviously, I am going to recommend a solution without supporting the jrecommendation. We can discuss in greater detail, if you wish.

All members of the MSM - NO, make that all companies and individuals that deal with the public, should establish forums, lines of communication with their customers, remembering that your customers are your readers.

But, before you do, you need to spend a little more time collecting data and evaluating alternatives. Which means that you need to open up a line of communication that will allow the data to flow.

The objective for Business Week should be to put your article/column into my data base (together with an acceptable amount of advertising), including any discussion that may result.

This, of course, means maximum exposure to the advertising as well as the article.

Example: As a subscriber to BW, how about an off-line RSS type feed directly into my data base. I identify the articles I want and then download them into my data base again. If and when I participate in a discussion, I am downloading all the messages into my data base. This, of course, can replace the printed magazine.

The object, of course, is to encourage readers to accumulate data and use it to make better decisions.

You can see a preliminary sample of this kind of software by downloading my demo - http://pdmsb.com.

Doug

PS. The BIG question - can you overcome your anti-geek (math-averse) prejudice to explore this possibility??

Posted by: Doug Skoglund at June 6, 2005 05:24 AM

The interesting thing about both Google and Apple is that those companies make the software and/or hardware that enables these new tools of blogging and podcasting. They may not have large numbers of employees PUBLICLY blogging (we can't be sure how many are blogging "behind the firewall," however). But these two companies are very much part of this new world.

Google bought Blogger years ago, and Blogger is still one of the best known names in blogging. There are a huge number of Blogger blogs out there, especially among personal bloggers and newbies....

And Apple can be credited with kicking off the whole podcasting craze. Before the iPod, MP3 players were not nearly as exciting and enticing.

So whether or not those companies make a big deal out of having employees blog doesn't seem to matter much in the face of the resources they are devoting to providing customers with the means to blog and podcast. It seems to me they are putting their money where their mouths are.

Best,

-- Anita Campbell

Posted by: Anita Campbell at June 6, 2005 03:07 PM


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