Sunday, August 14, 2005

Blogging – A bad fad or a market influencer?

A weblog, or "blog," is a personal journal on the Web. Weblogs cover as many different topics--and express as many opinions--as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential and have enormous readership, while others are mainly intended for a close circle of family and friends. There are many different types of blogs on the web, from personal to political, from news to entertainment, from text to photos...and so on.

As leaders, we often are asked if blogging is important to our company and/or the market space. The answer is definitely YES. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Blogging allows millions of people to easily publish their ideas and millions more to read and comment on them. Publishers and subscribers of blogs are quickly growing and, as a result, we are seeing a great impact. A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows 25% of internet users are blog readers. By my count (well, not exactly my count), that's more than 50 million people in the U.S.
  • Blogging provides a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a "conversation" than to a library of information.
  • The usage of the web is shifting in a fundamental way with the help of blogging. We are quickly moving from a place where the web provided static information to a place where information is dynamic and all are active participants.
  • Blogging allows everyone to have a voice. Whether or not we want to embrace this as a new communication vehicle, it is here to stay. We may not have deployed technology to provide this within our enterprises, but services like blogspot enables users to easily post views on the company and the market. GM has mandated that all their executives blog by the end of '05 (you can read more on Times are changing and we all need to ensure that we do not fall off the bus.

So again, blogging is here to stay. We as leaders within our organizations only have two choices: 1) get with the program and start blogging, or 2) let the world pass by without our influence. I have chosen to embrace the change and am actively communicating my views and opinions to the world. Maybe I will influence the market or at least entertain you, the readers.


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