Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blogs 2.0 for BusinessWeek

Senior Writer Stephen Baker of BusinessWeek has a blog post on his Blogspotting blog entitled "Remove "blogs" from the headline?" which ruminates about some angles for an update or revision to the May 2, 2005 cover story in BusinessWeek coauthored by himself and Heather Green entitled "Blogs Will Change Your Business - Look past the yakkers, hobbyists, and political mobs. Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Our advice: Catch up...or catch you later." The immediate question posed by his blog post title is whether "the story" has gone far beyond simple blogging. Even the original article discussed RSS feeds and podcasting, and shortly after publication Blogspotting also segued into wikis and looking at "how cutting-edge technologies are changing business and society" in general.

Technically, blogs and all these other technologies are known as social media, social networking, or social computing. If you are non-technical, the handle Web 2.0 covers the field.

There was also a conception that blogging and all this other stuff was about the conversation, and that The Cluetrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger was the guide to helping professionals understand that #1, "Markets are conversations." The groundbreaking book Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble nails that point. Robert is now off promoting video and every new social media tool that comes along while Shel is off educating us about global neighbourhoods. Nonetheless, the focus on the conversation continues.

I just finished rereading the original BW article and do not feel that it did a good enough job of zeroing in on that concept of the conversation. Sure, companies do now pay a lot more attention to what high-profile bloggers say and what appears on TechmemeTechcrunch, or other professional blogs, but I do dearly wish that BW would try to make the point of encouraging corporate folks to be more conversational with the people in their markets.

I have a bunch of other thoughts about an update or revision or follow-up to the 2005 cover story, but I want to think about this more deeply before diving in too deep.

I know that "Blogs 2.0" is a lame title, but I think it is at least an appropriate placeholder for the title since it expresses exactly what is being discussed, namely the evolution of social media tools and online services far beyond basic blogging. Besides, even superficially, somebody seeing "Blogs 2.0" (or "Web 2.0") is going to be automatically curious what the authors are saying.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 7:46 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Jack You nailed it. Social media is about allowing conversations to scale, so that companies can actually talk to the actual people who matter the most to them. There is great danger in bloggers becoming yet another media outlet.


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