Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Blogging Benefit Illustrated

One of the more difficult blogging concepts to sell to corporate entities is that you have to release some control to reap greater benefits. Here's an example.

Today I was surfing Microsoft Dev Blogs at MSDN more or less at random, when I ran across an interesting post on Rick LaPlante's Visual Studio blog. Some users, apparently erroneously, got the impression that Rick was censoring his comments. This incident struck me as being emblematic of how blogs can work positively in regards to corporate issues large and small.

This is the kind of thing that happens to companies all the time. Customers (or potential customers) get riled about something they've done. Often the company has no idea that this has happened.

The beauty of blogs is rapid identification of the problem and rapid response. Once Rick realized that a problem existed, he was able to address it with a simple blog post and explanation. That kind of rapid, honest communication is one of the biggest business benefits of blogs. Rick was able to assuage his readers' annoyance with a simple post and minor tweak to his blog settings.

The point is that to get there you've got to let go a bit. You've got to let your content get out there and let people shout and complain about it if they want to. Then you've got to buck up and address the issue honestly.

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