People: Joel Greenberg, GSD&M (moderator); Charles Bess, Fellow,
EDS; John Moore, Principal, Brand Autopsy; Scott Rehling, Producer,
The University of Texas Longhorn Football Vlog; Todd Watson, On Demand
(As a side note: there’s a screen behind the panel. The moderator’s
intro usually contains some slides; then the screen usually contains
the names of all the panelists and their URLs. That’s pretty damn
nice, compared to other panel discussions I’ve been at recently [e.g., Lone Star Software Symposium] that just have little paper “name-plates.”)
Blogging from the Middle
Watson: People in the middle of the corporation, like IBM, can now
get their voice out there, showing off the thought-leadership that a
company has previously locked up.
But, we can’t give you a specific instance where we gained
business. It’s still too fuzzy.
Rehling: again, using blogs as a real-time feed of what’s
going on…and not allowing yourself to be sound-bited.
Moore: people are starved for more info.
What About the Company That Doesn’t Have Anything to Say?
…or “why does Procter and Gamble need to blog about Jiff?”
Moore: if your product/service is selling, you have something to say.
And, if your product is a commodity, by starting a conversation up,
you have the chance to move it out of a straight commodity into
something special. This, would, of course, just be old wine marketing
in new media bottles.
Watson: internally, you need everyone marching to the same
beat. Whether it’s public or internal, you can use podcasts, blogs,
etc. to accomplish this. IBM is doing this.
How is Blogging Different…?
Moore: the mind-set of blogging always puts you in a mind-set of
“how can I be collaborating [linking & commenting] with this, or
find stuff to collab with?” He used to do the old xerox articles thing
to distribute, but now it’s the hyper-version of that. Ye Olde the
more links you make, the more links you get, aka, “the
information you get is equal to the information you give.”
Is Blogging Vocation or Avocation
Watson: it takes a lot of time to do it. PR people have been
managing the public image of a company for 50 years, spending a lot of
time doing it. And blogging will probably be the same: part of
someone’s job, not just “stolen” time.
Moore: I’m a one guy shop where people pay me for my ideas, so what
better place than a blog for that. But, you can’t go dark for very
long or people assume you’re gone and forget about you.
Bess: EDS’s started off as a group blog. “Definitely a way to get
diversity of perspective.” [Probably, just an easy way to keep the
frequency of a blog up instead of getting the One Post Bloggers.]
Q & A
Rubel: “How much to give away [on your blog] and how much to you
[keep to sell]?”
Moore: “The more you give the more you get.” But, I still “keep
some things in my back-pocket” to sell.
Rehling: we have a built-in audience enough that we can just give
away snippets of Mack Brown & Longhorn videos, and people will pay
Watson: I thought I was one of the wild ducks, so I was surprised
when they asked me to blog. But, I’ve been able to hold back posts
like “Sun and Google Sittin’ in A Tree,” so there’s a degree of
self-editing that you need to have.
Moore: if we trust people in stores to do the right thing, why is
it different online. [Cause on-line, everyone in the world can
find and see it, while in stores, it’s isolated to the geography. This
is why investigative journalism exists: to get hidden camera video of
employees and companies wider exposure.]
Bess: we probably self-censor more that we should. My blog posts go
through corp. communications folks, and they haven’t censored anything
yet, so maybe we’re not pushing the envelope enough…
…as always, “don’t be stupid.”
Has IBM Ever Asked You to Blog About Something?
Watson: not yet, but I expect the day will come. “I’m partially,
whether I like it or not, a spokesman for the company…. To the credit of the communications people: no one has ever [censored] me.” And an exciting new phrase, “Have you heard about our Genetic Identity? Let me try to net it out.”
Bess: I’ve been asked, and I just do it if it’s interesting to
Rehling: In my industry, entertainment, we’re learning that we can make money from this.
Moore: blogs help small business look bigger, they can make them
Notes, or, “There was trouble at the
lab with the running and the exploding and the crying
when the monkeys stole the glasses off my head. Wh-ha ha.”
Dude, Moore is all into playing the mad-scientist role. He wears a
white lab-coat and flares open his eyes all the time and talks