Ross Mayfield, over at Many 2 Many, has written a post about two things: business blogging and social software. Setting aside the social software, his comments on business blogging being driven by first fear and then greed got my attention. They got it for two reasons. First, he’s right. Second, he’s wrong.
He’s right that companies fear blogs. But it’s not always that they’ve seen the Kryptonite deal, or similar situations. They don’t even need example – they can come up with their own. He’s right that they fear employees, but mostly I believe that is fear of the unknown. With no clear, tangible evidence that blogs increase income, coupled with all the clear ways they could create grief for all parties at all level, it’s way too easy to just say no. I don’t believe anyone’s ever been fired for refusing to put the company’s marketing in the hands of amateurs.
He’s wrong that we embrace what we once feared. Not that we never do, but it’s not a given. If someone can ever cough up some evidence that blogging provides tangible benefits that the common business can realize, then we’ll see the fear turn to greed. Until then there will be many brave companies who give it a try, and a heck of a lot more who wait and see.