Robert Scoble wants all corporations to blog. He believes this is the best way to get information around, better than any other medium. He gives the Kryptonite example. Most of us heard about the flaw with some of their bicycle locks (you can unlock them with a Bic pen!). But nobody heard about the company's official response. According to Robert, the word of mouth power of blogs did spread the news much faster than anybody could hear from the company itself.
Well, that wasn't the case for me. I heard the news a few weeks ago on the TV news. And the topo gave me a clear view of the case, AND the corporate response, which was to replace all affected locks. I heard it on TV first, not in blogs, probably because I only read work-related blogs. I don't have time to read more. The general information, I leave this to the newspaper I read in the morning, and the TV news I watch in the evening, at home. I read blogs when I work. Robert's job is to blog, and read blogs (ok, ok, it's a simplified definition of his job). His company has the resources ($) to assign full-time people to evangelism (gee, I don't like that word). We don't. I'm a developer. I have stuff to analyse, design, implement, test, fix. I'm blogging for my own pleasure, and obviously with the impression it can benefit Xceed, but with a clear "parental guidance" not to spend too much time on it, and not to tell any secrets.
Which brings me to another subject: What can a corporation blog about? Where is the limit? How does a blogger who's no marketing genius knows he's about to say too much?
A colleague of mine wants to blog too. I already know he's the kind of blogger you won't want to miss. He masters technical details better than anybody I know. One could say I'm a generalist and he's a specialist. But his first post isn't online yet. Why? Because every subject he starts writing about, he ends up with the impression he's giving too much valuable information to our competitors. Nobody here at Xceed is filtering our blog posts. Our boss gave us the green light, with very few rules (if we can call them rules). It doesn't stop us from auto-censoring our posts. In my case, it's easy, since I talk more about the public interface than the inners of a product. But in his case, it has become a show stopper: he's convinced he can't blog without saying too much.
And that's a shame, because once he starts blogging, we'll all benefit from it... but as I write this, I realise that "all" means "our clients and our competitors". :-( Boy, I think Robert's position is much more clear than most of us. He should not generalize blogging pros and cons to every corporation. It's not that clear.