all its fluffiness, The
Cluetrain Manifesto, is built on a
want to communicate with people, it says. To them, organisations sound
flat, boring and inhuman. They miss the human voice which is typically open, natural,
logging – or blogging – has put this lesson at the heart of the latest web revolution.
blogging’s heart are a very simple set of tools. They’re all designed to do one
thing: make it incredibly easy to keep a website alive, fresh and up-to-date.
blogger can update his or her site in seconds, from almost any computer, and without
the need for any special software.
result has been a momentous flurry of online activity. The early “blogosphere” is a maelstrom
500,000 sites remarkable for their fresh, opinionated and up-to-date content.
High Priest of blog has got to be Instapundit, a
law professor from Tennessee,
seemingly married to his website. He posts 40 or 50 times on a good day and is
mostly a “linker” – guiding his fans to the key stories as they emerge on the
are first class “thinkers” about too – the superb Mickey Kaus
(now part of the equally wonderful Slate),
and two inconsistent iconoclasts from right and left, Andrew
Sullivan and Brendan O'Neill.
is a perfect example of the “networked conversations” Cluetrain predicted. However,
these networks still leave organisations puzzled.
we have questions we turn to each other for answers,” says Cluetrain. “If you
didn’t have such a tight rein on ‘your people’ maybe they’d be among the people
we’d turn to.”
blogging can help solve this problem too. Little by little, the world's ‘big media’ is being
Tom Brew, from MSNBC.com is one fan.
is the only real innovation in storytelling that I've seen in my career,"
he says. "You get the
news, you get commentary on the news, you get commentary with a real, personal
voice that seems to get readers engaged and excited."
are also beginning to pierce the thick walls that surround other organisations.
Take research chemist, Derek Lowe,
whose blog takes you to the heart of drug discovery.
a short but powerful account of the long distance journey of a research chemist.
never worked on a project that's led to an actual product - it's possible to go
an entire career without that happening,” he wrote. “I can think of one, maybe
two of my projects in 13 years that have progressed to having a human being put
the compound into their mouth.”
once asked the head of corporate communications at one of the world’s biggest
drug companies why they were so hated.
After all, their basic “mission” is a fairly laudable one.
arrogance and insecurity” he answered. “And our refusal to be open to people’s
Derek Lowes of this world do more to counter this image single-handedly than a thousand tightly-controlled
corporate communication initiatives will ever achieve.
we need more Dereks. How long 'til a Chief Executive of a major multi-national has a
blog? Which government minister will boldly blog where no minister has blogged
before? When will blogging become a way of communicating for senior civil
when are we going to hear from the organisational infantry – slogging away in
the trenches, but fighting interesting battles and helping win the occasional
Steven | 25/07/02