Much has been written about blogs, their relevance, their power, and their reach. This weekend, I've found some excellent commentary by bloggers themselves. Here are a few examples:
- David St. Lawrence has a very well-articulated piece on Citizen Publishing on his Ripples blog
- Michael Hyatt solicited input for Corporate Blogging Guidelines on his Working Smart blog, and came up with some great structure - very useful for companies grappling with where the lines are with regard to employee blogging.
- The Carnival of the Capitalists, hosted this week on Slacker Manager and compiled by Rosa Say, brings together a tasty sauce of commentary (and Rosa's own Talking Story blog is bringing bloggers together in powerful ways)
- There is some thought-provoking stuff going on regarding business blogging and its intermingling with podcasting at BusinessBlogCasting
When it comes to business blogs, I tend to gravitate more toward blogs that talk about real life situations and promote the exchange of ideas, opinions, tips, tricks, etc. These blogs often promote or recommend specific products and services, but all within a "wrapper" that helps others learn. I prefer this approach over single-product blogs that feel more like infomercials.
Some people have been very effective in providing blogs that I classify as "helpful information" that don't feel self-serving, while still promoting their own products and companies. In these cases, I don't mind because they really feel like "value added" providers. One example is the blog of ActiveWords CEO Buzz Bruggeman - he talks about ActiveWords, but provides a ton of valuable information that is outside of his company's product.
I know this will continue to evolve, and we'll all reap the benefits of business blogging. As I look back on the last 20 years, things have certainly changed.
- 20 years ago, I was connecting to Compuserve on a 300 baud modem using a Wyse terminal. It was slow, but there was very effective information exchange for professionals.
- 10 years ago, I had begun to surf the web looking for product and company information, but my primary information source was still using Compuserve (using OzCIS as a frontend, and connecting at higher speeds). I remember thinking that PointCast and newsbots were new and cool.
- 5 years ago, I was using web-based online discussion groups and user forums as a way to gather business information. I also started using a lot of listserv subscriptions to have information pushed to me as it became available.
- Now, I have unsubscribed from most of my email lists, and I use RSS and blogs to gather information that is relevant to me. I exchange information through Yahoo and Google groups, and my company uses Wiki and Sharepoint to exchange information internally.
Who knows what blogging will be like in the next 20 years? Not me, but I can hardly wait to find out.