Monday, December 05, 2005

Catching up on blogging stuff

Last week, I attended a panel discussion on blogging in business hosted by the Canadian Public Relations Society, Toronto, called "Wake Up and Smell the Blogs!" The chair was Michael O'Connor Clarke whose personal blog is Uninstalled. The other panelists (I've linked to their blogs) were Jack Kapica of the Globe and Mail, Mark Evans of the National Post, John Oxley from Microsoft Canada, Rick Segale, a Toronto venture capitalist and Geoffrey Rockwell, from McMaster University.

I've linked to all their blogs above, but only John Oxley and Geoffrey Rockwell actually wrote about the event and those posts are the ones I've linked to.

For me, the most important message was how important it is to have an authentic voice in order to have a credible blog. This is even more important in a business blog. Blogs are successful when the authors are passionate about what they're doing and their passion has to come across in a way that is real.

Geoffrey Rockwell summed things up for me in his post, when he said:
Finally, I realized, again, how blogging is not about the technology, it is about voice and engagement. It is a sign that web technologies are maturing when things like RSS and XML are not really the issue, it what you do with them and how they are hidden.
I'm having an "ah-ha!" moment after thinking about this for a few days. I realize just how passionate I am about this "new media" thing and its potential for the communications business. Yet somehow, I'm not connecting what I'm doing (on a daily basis) with what I know is possible.

Sure, technology is a cool thing and at first, it tends to obscure the real uses of these new tools for communicators. But eventually, content takes over as the true measure of how useful something is for the people using the technology. If the content is up to it, no matter how "cool" the product doesn't get used. And making sure the content is good is my job.

What really hit me is that I am just as up-to-date (maybe more so) on the topics of interest and the current events in the blogosphere as the panelists were, yet I'm not really participating in that world. I watch it from a conventional corporate communications perspective.

I'm on the cusp of straightening out my thinking in this area. When I do, I'll write about it.

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