Blogs will change your business:

Business Week. - May 2 2005
blogspotting.net

There are 9 million blogs out there, with 40K new ones popping out each day.
Malaysian, even those in the I.T industry are slow to react to such phenomenon which is simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself.

The Threat:
Conventional printing press model invented by Johannes Gutenberg.
A lucky handful owns the publishing machinery and controls the information. Whether at newspaper or global manufacturing giant, they decide what the masses will learn. This elite still holds sway at most companies. You know them. They generally park in sheltered spaces, have longer rides on elevators, and avoid the cafeteria. They keep the secrets safe and coif the company's message. Then they distribute it- usually on a need -to-know basis – to customers, employees, investors, and the press.

The Problem:
Google is regarded as a secretive company. So in January, when a young programmer named Mark Jen started blogging about his first days in the Googleplex, folks in the 'sphere instantly linked to him. Jen certainly wasn't dealing out inside dirt. But he griped that Google's health plan was less generous than his former employer's-Microsoft-and he argued, indignantly, that Google's free food was an enticement for employees to work past dinner.

Two weeks later, Google fired Jan. And that's when the 22 year old became a big story. Google was blogbusted for overreacting and for sending an all-too-clear warning to the dozens of bloggers still at the company. A Google official says that company has lots of bloggers and just expects them to use common sense. For example, if it's something you wouldn't e-mail to a long list of strangers, don't blog it.

However, Jen became a celebrity instantly. Apparently, Plaxo(Internet contact-management company) sees future in him and take him in. Part of his job is to coordinate Plaxo's blogging efforts – a pillar of Plaxo's promotional strategy.

There is another case:
dooce.com, by Heather Armstrong, who lost her job because the website included a stinging satire of her former employee. “Dooce” has since become the expression used when someone loses a job because of blogging.

Success:
General Motor's vice-chairman Bob Lutz created Fastline Blog to deal with customer's complains and companies imaging. Bloggers applauded.

Future Problems:
There is no way to stop companies from secretly buying bloggers' support, or even starting unbranded blogs of their own to promote their products-or to tar the competition. Such blogs are known as flog (faked blog). For instance, upstart Marqui paid 20 bloggers $800 a month for three months to promote its web marketing services while Republicans and Democrats paid three bloggers during the recent election.

New sets of cyber law will be out soon to deal with issues related to defamation and etc. Ethical rules must also be established to determine the needs for disclaimer matter such as the status of a blogger as either paid or volunteer. There is also a need for filtering purpose. For instance, a blog which preach about vegetarianism might want to warn potential readers about its persuasive intention, similar to 18-years-old filtering of pornography web site.

New StartUp:
1. Monitoring the blog to see what people are saying about your company
2. Damage-control strategies. How to response when they are being blog attack.

However, it is not expected to have a blog bubble like the dot-com.

Industrial Leader:
Six Apart - A four-year old San Francisco company leads in blog software.
Technorati and PubSub Concepts - blog searching.
Flickr – photo-sharing service. (It is still running its software in its beta, recently acquired by Yahoo in March)
Grassroots Media – Collection online Journalism; the blog- OhmyNews. Something like Jeff Ooi.

Why is Blog seen as emerging force to be reckoned with, when there is no clear business model?
--> A vibrant community that has doubled in size in the past eight months is teeming with potential customers and has a mother lode of data to mine.

New Invention:
RSS & aggregator. - Text link data feeds.
Podcasting.- Audio feeds automatic delivery. Means that those company with audio content, can delivery audio feeds to your blog. This would increase the number of people listening to your audio, because it is growing at a potential of 40K per day.
--> This means that I should incorporate RSS and Podcasting features to my CMS system. It wouldn't be hard, just need to have XML renderer and probably email subscription.

Content is King:
Content, whether it's news or a Hollywood movie, is going to travel in bite-size nuggets. The challenge, for bloggers and giants alike, is to brand those nuggets and devise a way to sell them or wrap them in advertising.

Popular blogs can land sponsorship deals for as much as $25K per month. Even though it is good news for bloggers, it the opposite for the ad indutries.

In the future, all website will be simply a blog which is essentially a CMS. The much shorter path to this is to build a wrapper system around a blog's open API.

Comments

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