Thursday, August 25, 2005

How I can help a company that wants to blog: Part One



How I can help a company
that wants to blog...but can't.




Companies need guidance in implementing these principles in specific environments. General principles must be supplemented with applied blogology for individual scenarios within unique industry parameters.

I could reveal Everything I Know About Blogs and Usability...and it still would not be enough.

The secret to effective blogging is in the Implementation Specifications, NOT in General Guidelines.

My friend Samantha Rufo of nxtConcepts

http://www.nxtconcepts.com

mentioned in an email that she has some clients who want to start blogs, but are not good writers. To blog well, it takes good general writing skills, and a special writing style appropriate to the online realm, the target audience, and the firm's unique corporate culture.

Writing style and format for blogs are very different from writing style and format in print publications, and somewhat different from web site content writing.

A company that flounders around in a blog, not knowing what it's doing, will cause more harm than good for itself.

Blogging poorly is worse than not blogging at all.

So how does a blogologist approach this problem?

By offering to "ghost blog", i.e., write "for" a CEO? Should the blogologist "pretend" to be the company's CEO and craft posts that the CEO merely signs off on?

NO. This is pseudo-blogging and is deceptive, self-defeating, and counter productive.

Why?

Think about it.

If readers post comments, with whom are they interacting? The CEO...or the ghost blogger? And who replies to their comments? The CEO...or his/her staff...or the ghost blogger?

Blog readers demand to interact with, have a candid conversation with, the actual CEO, or whatever spokesperson the company decides to have as its representative.

To fake it, to substitute a ghost writer, is unethical and unwise.

To hire a blogger to write glowing reviews about a company and its products: this is online suicide. Blog readers will see through it and reject such nonsense.

I will never ghost write any blog.

I will never blog about any product for pay.

But I will do some other things, that I consider ethical, smart, and effective.

In Part Two, I'll explain what they are.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


:^)

3 comments:

myBlogGuide Sam said...

So, then are blog's only for the "blog worthy" or journalistic?

One of my clients brought up to me today that they see a blog more in the traditional light of "web log". A posting of events and news. They believe a blog can have multiple people blogging. It's not all about the personality of one.

Made me ponder the idea that there are multiple blog models, just like there are multiple car types.

If that's the case, couldn't a "ghost written blog" have a place?

steven edward streight said...

Sam:

The fact, which is true and good for you to mention, thus enriching my post, that there are multiple models for blogging...

...does not negate the fact that there are also multiple models for Pseudo or even Anti Blogging. Don't forget that.

Not all businesses share the same single model or mission.

But there remain very firm values in regard to Consumer Fraud, False Advertising, and Ethical Practices.

This is the little bit of expertise I bring to the blogosphere, along with guidelines for effective, results-driven blog techniques.

I see no legitimate way to do "Ghost Blogging".

One way to resolve this, well this is the topic for my follow up post, Part Two.

There are multiple solutions, but not Ghost Blogging, a blog author pretending to be the CEO. This is deceptive and will backfire...fast.

The blogosphere, the so called "A Listers" are watchdogs. Including me, a "Z Lister" blogger. I watch for Pseudo Blogs and Ghost Blogs, and I chastize them one way or another.

Fictional Character blogs, with the exceptions of say a Barney or Mickey Mouse or Ronald McDonald, established reps of a company or product, are generally not good strategy.

The blogosphere jumped all over some FC blogs recently, a few months ago.

They backfired.

Blog readers want to interact with a real person in the company, not a pre-recorded voice on the phone, not a hired gun, not a farmed out, outsourced customer service rep.

:^)

Part Two will be posted soon. All your questions should be satisfactorily answered in that post. Thanks for your patience.

myBlogGuide Sam said...

Ok, you got me. I tend to look for the best in any situation, but I can definitely see the negative side to "ghost blogging".