Blogs Could Be Bad For Business

That's the conclusion of this article.

But the nature of how a business communicates – both internally and to the outside world – has never been as hindered by such technical considerations. There are broader concerns that suggest business weblogging will not be adopted in the way being touted today.

First, there are the obvious legal and regulatory concerns. Any journalist can tell you how tricky it can be to drag public comment out of a company without first routing through the sanitising filter of a press office.

The notion that more than a few companies might relax their external relations strategies enough to allow weblog communication, willy-nilly, between staff members and the outside world, is absurd, no matter how many consultants insist such communication might actually have a beneficial effect on a company's image.

Even if senior managers trust staff not to give away the company's commercial secrets – and many don't – there are still enough worries about libel and (for publicly listed companies) stock market disclosure rules to have the legal department waking in sweats for months to come.

This, of course, all presumes weblogs are to be used as something that faces customers, employed in some rather vague corner of a company's marketing mix. But all this does not rule out using weblogs internally, in some kind of knowledge management effort, and it is in this field that they show some potential.

Not enough people read blogs for it to matter right now, and I don't think corporate blogging will be the disruptive technology that some people think it will. I suspect blogs will end up being used in ways no one has thought of yet. Whatever happens, I hope that the amount of information flowing to and from companies increases as a result. Better information equals better captitalism.

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