My company just put into production an internal blogging environment for employees. The idea – and already it seems to be working remarkably well – is to encourage communication and knowledge sharing. Not only does this put my total number of blogs at four, it means that I must now blog for the good of the company! The other day I spent hours browsing other employees’ blogs, messing with my blog template, making posts, and experimenting with RSS feeds.
I’ve also been working very hard on a presentation I’m going to give to the Writing team on blogging and podcasting. A lot of folks don’t fully understand what these things are. Podcasting is an especially elusive concept: the name is at once very descriptive (it’s like a broadcast you can listen to on an iPod) and totally misleading (there’s no broadcasting involved and you don’t need a digital music player, much less a specific brand.)
As a result I’ve been reading enough about the role of blogs in marketing to make my eyes bleed and my brain shrivel like a mushroom in a hot saucepan. (Metaphor!) There’s a lot of fanaticism out there that recalls the Utopian visions surrounding the Internet when it first became widely available, and then again during the dot-com boom. (Apparently blogging will destroy Marketing As We Know It and will usher in a new era of honesty and authenticity. Sweet!)
But on the other hand, those fanatics got plenty of things right. If you want to take advantage of this new medium, you have to thoughtfully weigh these claims and predictions; and probably attempt all sorts of things and fail a lot.
I think my case studies for the presentation will be the painful “Pherotones” hoax, the Halo 2 “Haunted Apiary” game, Nokia’s controversial N90 blog, and the Stormhoek Wine “give bloggers free wine” initiative.
God have mercy on my soul, but I love the French Maid TV videocast about how to set up a video blog. I probably won’t be showing it at my training session, however informative it may be.