Why companies should use blogs

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Commentaries about BusinessWeek and the blogosphere

Last week, BusinessWeek’s cover story was about blogs (read “Blogs Will Change Your Business“). Henry Copeland, founder of Blogads wrote two long commentaries about this article. Obviously, Copeland believes in blogs — he’s living from them — but he’s not so sure that BusinessWeek understands them.

In “Business Week predicts corporate takeover of blogs,” he wrote that the title of BusinessWeek’s cover story should have been “Blogs will change OUR business,” because a large part of it is devoted to the impact of blogs on mainstream media and advertising.

Here is a short quote of the original article: “The big companies have what the bloggers lack. Scale, relations with advertisers, and large sales forces. They can use these forces to sell across all media, from general audience to bloggy niches.”

And here is Copeland’s answer.

This assumes, of course, that blog advertising is like advertising on MSNBC or BusinessWeek.com. Take it from somebody who registered the name “blogads.com” in March of 2002… it isn’t. If you think publishing has been transformed, don’t you think that its twin sister advertising is also being turned inside out? While traditional advertising is about megaphones and cheerleading, blog advertising is about conversing, listening as much as you talk.

The other Copeland’s commentary is focused on the relevancy of the cover stories of the magazine. In “Business Week’s cover: the kiss of death,” he gives several examples of previous covers of BusinessWeek, such as one from 1997 about how Netscape could derail Microsoft.

Here is the introduction of Copeland’s note.

Yesterday a friend who runs a hedge fund reminded me of the Wall Street maxim — “sell when Business Week’s cover says buy.”

Stephen Baker, one of the two authors of the latest BusinessWeek’s blog, Blogspotting, replied to Copeland in this note, “BusinessWeek cover curse?” Here is a short excerpt.

Could it be that we misread the phenomenon, and that blogs won’t even change business? Yes. It’s possible. But I’d say it’s only possible if you stick to a limited definition of blogs. If blogs are only the Weblogs that we currently know, all of them tied to today’s technology and social customs, then maybe many businesses will remain relatively untouched by them. But if you look at blogs, as we do, as a movement in networked self-publishing, and as a hothouse of tech innovation, I think it’s virtually impossible that this phenomenon won’t change business in a big way.

Do you agree with Henry Copeland or with BusinessWeek? Tell me what you think.

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Roland Piquepaille
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