Over the past few years, the blogosphere has grown some sort of collective wisdom and values that you are told — including by yours truly — to carefully watch and adhere to if you ever want to join, especially if you're going into business blogging. Among those values, we find things like being authentic, transparent, or... spontaneous.
As far as I can tell, spontaneity is a double-edged sword, as evidenced by the reactions to the first Dell blog named "one2one, Direct Conversations with Dell. Those guys have just taken the plunge and before they have resurfaced to breeze, paf!... Jeff Jarvis — Mr Dell Hell himself — wants to maintain them under water, quickly followed by Steve Rubel. Both accuse Dell of, among other "blogocrimes", not listening and not linking to critics. Well, it looks to me that they are listening, and that some folks, in being spontaneous, are jumping their guns a bit too quickly.
From Dell's last post, I found the posts from Shel Holtz and Robert Scoble who are more constructive. Niall Cook shows one trait I like about blogs, the capacity to make updates and amend oneself in retrospect (that's somehow linked to intellectual honesty, I think), which is something I don't see on Jarvis and Rubel's posts, yet.
We, the blogeois (so much better than bloggerati, isn't it ;-)), like giving others lessons (although, apparently, we don't like the reverse that much). It looks to me that, for corporate blogging, we're still collectively learning and that lessons will be taught back as corporations embrace the medium. Jarvis and Rubel are just fueling the fears and reluctance against corporate blogging (case in point: Nicholas Carr takes it as QED that "for most companies, a corporate blog probably won't be worth the trouble").
I'd be tempted to say "much ado about nothing, cut them some slack." But as one of those folks who are excited about the potential of blogs in business, and into it, the best quote I can make is:
A lot of folks who are blogging "experts" talk about blogs in a way that scares the hell out of normal business people.
This quote is from the first of a series of excellent posts from Six Apart, which I encourage you to read if you're willing to test the waters of business blogging:
- How to keep blogs from scaring the hell out of people
- Control Your Comments: It's Your Lobby
- It's Okay To Screw Up! A Case Study
- Another Sacred Cow Debunked: You Don't Have to Write All Your Posts
Oh, and of course it's more than ok to be spontaneous on your blog. Just don't forget that common sense is also part of the game.