Why Blogs Mean Business
Today they're lousy media experiences for mere mortals. But that's about to change — and so is the way you gather information for your work.
By John Battelle, February 2004 Issue
The buzz on weblogs is becoming unbearable. Not because I think they don't merit the attention — they do. But the mainstream discussion on the subject misses the point. Nearly everything you read says either that blogs are ill-defined harbingers of a long-foretold Internet media revolution or that they're irrelevant, the ephemeral scribble of teenage girls.
Folks have forgotten that blogs work because people have something to say and others find what they say valuable. Our business culture works the same way — it runs on the currency of influence, authority, and relationships. People who have strong and well-informed opinions command respect and become influencers; they win deals, drive decisions, and ultimately determine the fate of companies. The thirst for high-end business information — the kind that makes people feel like influencers — has created a $15 billion professional publishing market in the United States alone.
My blog works in the exact manner that Battelle says blogs should work for business. I have been a proponent of blogs as business communication tools for the last two years, even when some pundits, such as Dave Mohney at the Inquirer, said blogs would be losers in 2004, while Business 2.0 predicted they would become maintstream.
I believe blogs will become more mainstream as businesses discover their many communication, public relations, marketing and networking virtues. Many businesses, as well as online publications, have already discovered and capitalized off of the virtues of blogs. You can read about some business blog virtues I mentioned in a recent article in Florida Realtor Magazine's February edition (.pdf file - Adobe Acrobat Reader needed to view).