I heard a presentation this morning at my alma mater about business blogging. It was a good presentation, though there wasn’t much new for me. The presenter was still asking questions about what could happen if a blogger lies about a product. My only problem was the focus on blog posts that are product reviews. It told me that the presenter didn’t really read blogs or blog themselves. I would consider reading blogs a basic prerequisite to studying their use in the business world, at least. They may have done this, but nothing was said to this end and I didn’t have a chance to ask.
I have a problem with trying to turn a blog into a profit center or marketing tool. It is a marketing tool, but not in the same sense as other tools (email, newsletters, etc.). I think blogs enter marketing (and sales, for that matter) in the fact that they let the customer and producer/employee interact in ways not possible for at least a hundred years. It’s like shopping at the mom and pop store. You can ask them anything about any product and they’ll give you a good and honest answer. Only now, you can do that at any company that’s smart enough to open their doors and ears for the conversation.
It’s quite dangerous because the door falls off the closet where your skeletons live. But the people you’ll meet can become loyal customers and even friends. They may be disappointed in you when the skeletons come out, but are less likely to abandon you at that time.
No guarantees, though.