Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blogs That Are More Than Random Chatter

Posted by Hello

Blogs began as simple web sites that owners used to post URLS of benefit to others in a given field of interest.

They were "web logs": [we]b logs, collections of continuously updated links, with brief commentary.

Then, with improved "personal publishing software" from WordPress, Blogger, and others, blogs began to be used by teenagers as a way to express themselves.

They were "plogs": p [ersonal b] logs, web journals, digital diaries, internet notebooks, cyber-confessionals.

Next came the "J-blogs": j [ournalist] blogs, in which reporters with laptop computers could post breaking news or personal opinions, with lightning speed.

Political party convention blogging by J-bloggers really boosted the public's awareness that blogs were important communication tools.

(Rathergate, the scandal involving CBS, Dan Rather, sloppy mainstream media investigative reporting, and forged documents purported to be President Bush's National Guard records, also caused a blog-inspired commotion.)

Now here are four more types of blogs I find interesting:

1. CEO Blogs: in which corporate CEOS loosen their ties and speak frankly to customers and the public. They see blogs as inexpensive, intimate vehicles to express their professional concerns, personal qualities, and even private details, to present themselves as real, warm personalities.


Jonathan's Blog by the President/CEO of Sun Microsystems

ELand by Elliott Noss, CEO of Tucows, domain seller

Sifryby David Sifry, CEO of Technorati (good articles on business blog stats).

2. Corporate Employee Blogs: in which company personnel are allowed, within certain guidelines or restrictions, to speak about what it's like working at a particular company. These blogs enable the company to display a non-authoritarian culture in which employees are encouraged to be productive in individualistic ways. Job applicants gain insight into a specific corporate culture by reading these blogs.


Ongoing by Tim Bray, an employee of Sun Microsystems

Also see:

CEO Bloggers' Club from PR Planet (articles about rules corporate bloggers must follow).

3. Job Applicant Blogs: Not necessarily geared to job seeking (especially if currently employed), but exhibiting an individual's talent, expertise, insight, interests, activities, opinions. Employers can learn more about a prospective employee by reading the person's blog, than by traditional resumes and interviews. Personal blogs are usually more in-depth, spontaneous, and honest.

Vaspers The Grate (this blog)

Mentally Correct Marketing, Steven Streight's other business blog.

These blogs are being used by me to display my expertise, strategic thinking, and writing skills.

Potential clients can view it to learn more about my services, philosophy, and methodology.

Current clients, and others interested in web usability issues, can visit this blog to stay up to date on this field.

4. Artist Blogs: Sadly, many of these are dominated by the typical blabberings, but some are being used as online galleries, which I vastly prefer.


Incurable Art by Elenyte Paulauskas-Poelker

Conception and development of this Blog painting by Juan Miguel Giralt

My Life as an Artist by Ivan Pope

Milo Photoblog by Milo Vermeulen


Just to unsettle the smug, blogs are the Now Big Thing, but what is the Next Big Thing beyond conventional, static web sites?


Wikis are collaborative web sites that allow users to actually generate content, to add, alter, and delete material. This goes beyond simple comment posting. Administrative viewing and sorting tools enable site owners to restore the original content, publish multiple versions of content, and prevent abusive chaos.

Wikis enable users, such as teams working on a project, to pool their ideas and work, and watch the content evolve.

A recent article in The Economist, entitled "Blogging goes to work" is actually more about wikis than blogs, and even confuses the two terms to a certain extent.

Oh well.

Gotta go.

Need to work on what will be the New Next Big Thing beyond wikis!


Atomic Bombshell said...

Excellent post. Thanks for writing.

I recently created a blog for our company, that masquerades as "Front Page News" on our Intranet. It's a great way to share information with staff quickly and build internal morale.

The blogger features, I'm finding, blend seamlessly into this application. They provide an easy way to link files and create fresh content in advance.

steven edward streight said...

Very good comment, Kiki.

Thanks for enhancing my site with your input.

You clarify the benefits of corporate employee internal blogs, which I had not really addressed. This is amazingly good: an intranet blog for updating the staff. I had not thought this far, yet it's a perfect application of blogging. This kind of blog can be fun and informative, playful and serious, creative and conservative, lots of possibilities.

Uploading photos of personnel, community volunteer work, office parties, new equipment, new procedures, warnings against forwarding frivolous emails to other employees (due to virus and security concerns), directions to company picnic, plans for Christmas party, lots of stuff.

I'll say it again: blogs are better than email, in many cases, for distributing information. I just spent a whole day almost trying to fix a problem in my email MSN Messenger. It wouldn't stop sending a photo file, for 12 hours "sending mail" relentlessly, only 4000 KB. Weird.

So much is happening so fast with blogs, wikis, net art, web services, etc. that it's hard to keep up with it all. I appreciate your taking the time to share this cool application of blogs with me. You're a nice friend to have!