One of the great fears for firms looking at this medium is that it will become a foghorn for people with a bee in their proverbial bonnet. Perfectly true. There are many examples where people use blogs to vent their frustration at any number of topics. I do it all the time in my cracks at ICAEW leadership.
In the ‘open’ blogosphere, top favourites for scrutiny are political blogs. It’s not surprising, given that politicians often come in for some stick. Especially if the site is moderated to keep content reasonably in line with party thinking. I can understand the command and control freakery.
As Hugh quite rightly points out, the best things come from conflict. Well – not exactly pistols at dawn – but in the context of debate. The question is – how do you manage it in such a way that everyone gets their turn, those who don’t understand the topic are not frightened off and those who disagree can get a fair and decent hearing? This is not quite as easy but there are ways to do this without being inundated with crap.
One thing I’ve noticed. When debate ensues, strange things happen. People’s thinking changes. More important, their behaviour changes. Almost always for the better. Other strange things happen as well. Recently, Robert Scoble hired Christopher Coulter. Christopher was one of Robert’s fiercest critics, almost always taking him to task. Today, Robert says he misses Christopher’s kick ass views. Personally, I think Robert might want to rethink that masochistic tendency. But then some people have a harder time with criticism than others.
The point is this medium really can make a difference in business and in the lives of individuals. Most of what I’ve seen to date has been good and getting better by the day.
Moderation is useful in its place. Learning about this inside the organisation is a very good way to start.
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