Skip to navigation

Monday, June 09, 2003

Weblog Business Strategies Conference: Kickoff

Had to come all the way to Boston to meet Sam Whitmore, who sat next to me at D. The gang's all here, this should be good fun. Things are about to get going momentarily. I'll update this post for the intro from Kathleen Goodwin and Michael Gartenberg's opening session.

Kathleen Goodwin, Welcoming Remarks

We've brought together the best and brightest individuals in the world of weblogs, a watershed event. Businesses quickly discovered the transformational aspects of the 'Net. Business weblogs are in their early stages of greatness. Think back to early days of the Internet: many difficulties and concerns have been overcome. Today, where would we be without it? As a marketer, I can tell you it's the greatest tool I have for managing customer relationships. (Overview of conference topics.) (Kathleen asks for questions for final panel. If you email, I'll be pleased to ask.)

Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research Insight: Enterprise Weblogs—Blogging For Fun And Profit

I'm always hesitant to talk about firsts, especially in a roomful of live Internet connections. (Good laugh.) But to the best of my knowledge, Jupiter was the first to incorporate research and weblogs. The Internet and the Web don't get mentioned in Wired until issue 1.4. Home pages were about the sum total of the Web Wired was covering in the early '90's.

Talks about the debate when they first started blogging about research at Jupiter (some got it, some said, huh?). Getting about 4,000 hits a day on the various sites. Palpable results, clients have renewed on the basis of weblogs. Now, Alan Meckler has his own blog, and they've started the Microsoft Monitor, first time they've tied a specific service to a companion weblog.

There are some nasty perceptions about weblogs: Lack of ethos, little value, creates Web noise, ego driven publishing. The reality is they're actually firsthand expertise. The credibility associated with a blog is directly tied to the contributing individuals. And, traditional publishing is ego driven too, but good luck if you actually want to be heard. Odds are the New York Times is not going to publish your op-ed. Blogging also provides a unique opportunity for direct audience contact. Blogs also enable customer centric communication not available elsewhere, and are the ultimate no-spin zone.

If Michael were advising Dustin Hoffman today in The Graduate, he might say "Weblogs." But careful: you might get fired. Keys are to keep it modest at first. Go internal before you go external; sounds basic, but isn't, and it's important. Ask permission, not forgiveness. This applies if you're a a personal blogger too. A disclaimer saying, "My thoughts are not those of my employer," is not going to save your job. Use common sense.

So who should be blogging at your company? Easy: anyone who has got something to say. People in your company are undiscovered great writers analysts and thinkers. Use them. Also, blog early and blog often. Third, recognize the difference between business and personal blogs. If you're blogging in a business setting, in general keep the cheesecake recipes offline.

Suggested project timeline: beta internally, commit a core group of bloggers, get a week's worth of material ready to go, open up to internal review for some beta feedback, repeat all this three times, and you're good to go. Blogs are an extremely powerful form of communication, both internally and externally. If you're looking at this from an enterprise perspective, now is the time to seize control because if you don't, people internally will do it on an ad hoc basis. Better to be involved.

Introduces Dave Winer.

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.