Thursday, April 26, 2007

How many blogs are blogging this?

This Dilbert stuck me as quite apropos, if not a little scary. (And as an aside, I'm sure many of us marketing types recognized the situation. Poor Tina the Tech Writer! We feel your pain.)

In all jokes, of course, there's a kernel of truth, and Mr. Scott Adams, as per usual, has hit on an emerging truth in business culture. The blogger you're reading may not be who you think it is. No, it's not yet at the point where we automatically distrust the source, e.g., we know now that "hotbunny69" who was pinging you on IM is not really an interested girl trying to strike up a friendly conversation. But as this Dilbert becomes more truth than joke, it won't be long before we do.

The social media/Web 2.0 revolution has given us these tremendous communication tools, and business, moving ever faster to gain competitive edge, is busy exploiting them -- or swallowing them up outright -- but to what end? It's no secret that the user-driven Internet mediums are being utilized (exploited? raided? crippled?) by Corporate America. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- Corporate America made the Internet, originally an altruistic but only marginnally useful invention, into what it is today. But as blogs are becoming less user-driven and diary-like and more commercial-driven and advertising-like, some may see that as robbing the medium of what was its main source of attractiveness in the first place, rendering it irrelevant. So business bloggers beware! Think hard and long before you try to use any social media for corporate marketing purposes. Media maven Marshall McCluhan said "the medium is the message," but consider this: Just because the Pointy-Haired Boss wants to implement a blog, that doesn't mean he actually has anything to say.

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