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"Cluetrain" was written before the rise of blogs, but the blogosphere embodies the book's message: In today's world, your brand shouldn't talk to your customers; your people should speak with your customers.
Takeway Tip: Embrace two-way communication. Allow blog readers to comment on your posts.
Beyond Your Brand
Blogs don't need to be dry, impersonal corporate-speak. Interesting people with interesting opinions write interesting blogs, and readers find interesting blogs. The best blogs provide a real sense of their authors, and by reflection, of their authors' organizations.
To see how a blog can shape a company's public face, check out Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek (www.joelonsoftware.com), Matt Cutts of Google, (www.mattcutts.com/blog), Robert Scoble of Microsoft (http://scobleizer.wordpress.com) or Bob Parsons of GoDaddy (www.bobparsons.com).
Whether or not I've met these authors, when I read these blogs I feel like I get to know these people personally, and that very much personalizes their companies for me. Even when bloggers aren't the official voices for their firms, their writing plays a strong role in shaping how the firms are perceived in the marketplace.
Takeaway Tip: Let your voice come through your blog. Offer strong opinions and interesting perspectives.
Letting your voice come through on your business blog doesn't mean offhand or stream of consciousness content is appropriate.
Perhaps because of blogs' origins, some find this trap difficult to avoid. Many early blogs were public diaries, and this genre still is popular today.
According to Technorati, the blog search engine, more than 100,000 new blogs are born every day. Also, more than 1.5 million posts are made to blogs each day. Many of these are personal diaries. While of interest to their creators, outsiders often find these personal journals banal.
Perusing the Banal
To peruse this banality, visit Technorati (www.technorati.com) and search on the phrase "homework AND pimple":