If George Orwell had access to a blog in the 1930s, could he have staved off the rise of fascism?
Many of Oscar Wilde’s witticisms were less than 140 characters. Would he have been a leading Twitterer?
Many business people and politicians today still think analogue and public, while voters and consumers think digital and personal.
Why should your business blog?
It’s about how you can converse with your people and the world.
You know that communications and marketing are as vital a cog in your overall business offer as your products or services. But the tyranny of information — resources, relevance, timeliness and reach — haunts all organisations whose stock-in-trade is anything bar information.
You add value at every point on the business life cycle. But you know you must communicate or risk being left behind. How can you do that without it getting in the way of your people and your processes?
‘For an increasing number of companies, social media is now “business as usual”, and part of the fabric of everyday working life …businesses are increasingly spending significant budget on redesigning and rebuilding their communication strategies . . . with social media at the very heart of every operation’. Excerpt from a 2007 report by Melcrum, a global research and training supplier for communicators.
All of this points to a rapidly changing world where online communications and tools—social media—are the norm.
The Internet – an intruder in our homes
Way back we woke to find an intruder in our homes and offices. It was part outlaw from the military/industrial complex, part feral messenger, universal whisperer, political deviant, commercial pirate, publishing guerilla, information pimp and moral whistleblower.
Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, we find the web has taken a further giant step. The internet has transferred power from the corporation to the consumer.
The industrial revolution gave manufacturers and marketers a new-found power over consumers. The digital revolution has reversed the position, giving consumers virtually limitless access to information and choice. Businesses who resist find themselves not just sidelined but worse, ignored.
At the press of a key it can link us to almost any imaginable individual, organisation, body of knowledge, or field of enterprise. For better or worse (your choice), the internet has become an unstoppable pipeline.
In a microsecond it can pump all the bilge of nonsense, prejudice and boredom the world’s ever created, wherever and whenever we choose. Fortunately, it can do the same with our treasuries of wisdom, knowledge and learning. Two days later, it can double it. And two days later, do the same again. And so on.
Famous fools, geeky gods
The net doesn’t think, feel, or move. But like the human circulation system, it pulses with a life not strictly speaking its own. Its anonymity can make fools of the famous, or gods out of geeks.
It has narrowed the gap between expensive, traditional publishing and online circulation to nil. In doing so, it threatens the very nerve system that was the power-base and preserve of the wealthy—the information industry. Its advance is a passport of escape for the intelligent or ambitious poor on an unprecedented scale.
Social media redefine democracy and reinvent tribes
Another side effect is that blogs and social media have the power to dismember and redefine democracy at will.
Except in the sense of democracies in legislated voting systems, social media have knocked a whole syllable from the word democratic. The word is now demotic—of the common people. And not only does everyone have a soap-box, their voices can be found and heard anywhere, anytime, by anyone.
Position your passion well enough — it doesn’t matter what the passion is — and you’ll create tribes of followers who do more than listen. They broadcast. To other individuals and followers. Those other followers belong to other tribes and cross-pollination starts to happen. And if they do it to friends, imagine what they do to their foes.
Online author, Reem Abeidoh, at world-renowned www.problogger.net writes:
The missing ingredient—direct customer connections
‘After some initial hesitancy, corporations are slowly starting to realise that it is important to jump on the virtual bandwagon of blogging. This medium represents the missing ingredient that traditional media lacks: the ability to directly connect a company to its customers.’
He quotes Michael Brito, Social Media Strategist at Intel, who said: ‘It’s a way for us to appear less corporate and put [on] a human face when we interact online. We believe people relate more effectively to other people instead of a logo or corporate brand.
‘Blogging lets us communicate with our customers in a more personal and direct way. But more importantly, blogging gives us a much needed way for customers to communicate with us. Customers are able to interact with comments and potentially provide valuable feedback or insight that can be brought back into the business.’
Substitute the word communicate for marketing, and you get a very clear idea of where communications is going. And an even clearer idea as to why your business must blog.
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