Forrester Research has an excellent free article titled “Blogging: Bubble Or Big Deal? When And How Businesses Should Use Blogs”:http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,35000,00.html Registration is required, but it is, as mentioned, blessedly free.
This is an excellent sales tool for the designer or marketer interested in pitching a blog to your clients. Coming from “Forrester Research”:http://www.forrester.com this longish scholarly piece has the benefit of instant crediblity with your likely less than techy audience.
The bottom line is that blogs are good, blogs are here to stay, and your company should probably have one. Needless to say, this is not earth-shattering news. I believe pretty strongly that blogs will (and have) changed the way many of us gather information. They have also begun to dramatically flatten the corporate structure, giving joe-schmoes like you and me access to the inner workings of large corporations (see “GM’s”:http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/ blog as an example).
Even more importantly, I believe blogs will force companies, both large and small, to be more accountable for their statements and actions. How? Let’s take the example of the “Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. This open-source project is *self-healing*. That is, if incorrect info is posted, the user base can correct it. In the same way, blogs, through comments, trackbacks and quotes in posts, offer their own form of self-healing information.
From a social standpoint, this has me very excited. In truth, an orgainization doesn’t need to participate in the blogosphere to suffer to consequences of self-healing information. Witness Rather, Lott, et al. By taking a pre-emptive position, and embracing the blog, organizations open themselves up to scrutiny (albeit in a narrow way), and ultimately gain trust.
This is a rather fractured post I’m afraid; there are about 5 really good ideas here I’d like to explore in more detail, but the coffee flowing through my blood stream (or is that blood flowing through my coffee stream?) is preventing me from sitting still for long enough to string a cohesive argument together.