I suspect that some of the unconference approaches will eventually bleed over to the nontech business world. It’s not really the unconference approach that I have a hard time seeing in the nontech world, as much as it is the focus on blogging as a widely accepted business tool.
Doc echoes the point made by one of my Commenters that it’s not blogging as the business, it’s blogging as a part of a business- the idea that blogging can add value as an additional business tool.
I totally get that with respect to some industries. Certainly journalism (look at all the newspapers that have already embraced blogging to one extent or another), marketing, PR (Steve Rubel is the walking, talking embodiment of that), etc.
What I’m still not buying is blogging as a tool for traditional businesses that sell traditional products and services. The people who manage these companies are going to have to cover a lot of ground to get from content blockers that don’t let you visit ESPN to employees blogging on the clock. Not to mention all the corporate policies about what is and isn’t fair game for blogging about that would have to be written and enforced. And then there are all the labor and lawyer problems that would arise if an employee got disciplined or fired for unacceptable content, etc.
In sum, most businesses don’t trust their employees enough to allow them to blog.
Which means (and I’d love to hear Steve‘s thoughts on this) that even if a traditional business has a blog, it will likely be written by a trusted insider and carefully designed to promote the company line. It would end up being nothing more than an alternate form of a company brochure and press release page. It would look like a blog, but it wouldn’t really be one.
Is that better than no blog at all? I don’t think so, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe blogging as a corporate self-promotion tool is perfectly OK.
Maybe I’m still missing something.
What do you think?