Jason Cieslak and Inesa Figueroa from Siegel+Gale gave the final presentation, in which they sorted through the hype about blogging and other highly hyped technology trends.
Inesa says it’s difficult for corporations to exploit the phenomenal growth of blogs. The linking structure of blogs and that sub-culture doesn’t fit with the typical corporate culture.
Corporations aren’t super nimble. “If you aren’t updating your blog all the time, you don’t have a blog. You have a web site.” They also have legal and prudential obligations to consider.
Religious, political and social affiliations drive a lot of the growth in blogs. People blog because they get excited about a topic (like religion and politics) and controversial issues, which isn’t the kind of environment in which broad-based corporations want to become entangled.
She questions whether bloggers are going to think it’s still cool to blog once the corporations get into it. I think the answer to that is “Absolutely!” They won’t necessarily interact with the corporate blogs, but people are still going to want to express themselves and group into their own sub-cultures.
She says Dell’s blog doesn’t really capitalize on the medium. The publishing and approval processes are really cumbersome for a corporation. The lack of transparency also is an issue, as with the Edelman/Wal-Mart controversy.
Being part of the blogosphere is about contributing to other people’s blogs, not just having your own. And it’s possible to be engaged in the conversation even without a blog of your own.
If you’re going to blog, you need to have a strategy. How does it meet an institutional objective? One might be dealing with issues or crises.
Jason says his company works with Yahoo, which has 500 million users, while a billion wireless phones will be sold worldwide. Companies like Yahoo are working to port their applications and rich media to mobile devices, including cell phones.