I just read about the Blog Council via Jeff Jarvis. Bit late to chime in too and say this is a yesterday’s idea (Alec said that and I read more here, here, and here with great comments.) I conclude organizations must empower customers to craft how the relationship will evolve. See the BBC.
The Blog Council mimics Industry Advertising Councils that have over the years in different countries helped to frame appropriate advertising. Those organizations served a useful purpose in their time. In a way Andy Sernovitz should be congratulated he lined up this list of companies.
However, the quote below from Sean Driscoll at Microsoft makes me question what they are thinking. IN A PRIVATE NETWORKING ENVIRONMENT etc…. (on home page). I can only say “get real”. Start a wiki, provide content. Share from the beginning. Enable a conversation. Use your own blog to explore the topic. Blog with your peers! Most of what you need is already out there. On the BC mission page “The key executives responsible for their companies’ official blog presence”….. Is that controlling? Or what? Rules?
I am even more horrified by the impact statement. It says nothing about LISTENING!. Nothing which talks about “growing the conversation” which translates to growing information, knowledge and learning around interests, tags, topics… that we read and view.
When I started this post I just meant to write about Jeff’s comment to a woman to see beyond the blog. My experience in companies is — that is often very hard. To blog one must be loose, not anxious or feeling controlled. If you have to ask…how or what to blog then you shouldn’t be blogging in the first place. No wonder they formed the Blog Council.
Sean O’Driscoll, General Manager, Community Support Services for Microsoft. “The Blog Council brings together precisely the people who need to explore these issues together, in a productive and private networking environment. We can work together to develop model policies that set the standard for corporate blogging excellence.”
the woman next to me was troubled, bearing weight on her shoulders from having to fill her blog and manage her blog. To her, the blog was a thing, a beast that needed to be fed, a never-ending sheet of blank paper. I turned to her and said she should see past the blog. It’s not a show with a rundown that, without feeding, turns into dead air. ………. I blog when I find something interesting that I’ve seen and I think, ‘I have to tell my friends about that.’ You’re the friends. So yes, I said, it’s just a conversation. And reading — hearing what others are saying — is every bit as important as writing.
9. Who manages the Blog Council? The Blog Council is managed by GasPedal, which is run by Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. It is not a non-profit organization or a trade association. It is similar to business councils run by Forrester, Gartner, and the Conference Board.
Standing up and doing a “Rageboy” rant would be so Febuary 2000:
However, since the arrival of the tangled higher-order logic of the Web, business has become more dependent on narrative than explication — and the narrative is no longer straightforward and predictable. It takes odd turns. It turns you on, then turns on you
What amazes me is not one representative from a large company felt the hairs on the back of their neck…. when asked to get involved. To me this is a very first principles understanding. One, does this action bring me and my organization more quickly in touch with our customers and enable a conversation? Two, can I afford this time not in front of the customers but talking about how we handle them? Three is this action chaordic?
Then get someone to help you “reading” or “listening” to the blogosphere. They better bring a toolkit for listening too.
All this does bother me. It seems large companies are still learning so little and so slowly. They are worrying about the wrong things or how to behave when companies like the BBC are launching new Beta sites that are more adaptive, more intuitive and in the end will be easier to learn than the structured linear flows of information the council I think has their head round. It’s a great example on enabling the user / customer to craft their own relationship. The more “we” graft ourselves onto your portal, your site, your content or share, insert, connect, you to our lifestreams, the less you have to say, write and do. So make your content available! Listen and watch. I bet conversation rather than blogging will describe what happens.