Come on people, justify business blogging!
Robert Scoble and Shel Israel got their collective selves clotheslined by Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels when they presented their case for business blogging to Amazon. Apparently Werner was rude to them and asked questions they could not answer. Ironically Robert is best mates with Dave Winer who is never politically correct when asking questions or calling someone out. It’s good to see them being brought down a peg or two, not because they are up their own ass or anything but because they do seem like the business blogging pinup boys and a dose of reality is needed in this arena. Fair play for Werner. I wonder if they presented to him before they released their book , would it have made their book stronger in the end?
Even for me who likes to promote blogging through the Irish Blog Awards and the Blogger Academy I would say that there does need to be a stronger case for business blogging. The other poster boys for business blogging are the blogging bespoke tailor and the blogging wine company. They were unique in their market because they blogged first plus they had a very controversial publicist. It was something new. It made them flavour of the month and got them a lot of attention. What if a second bespoke suit guy started blogging or another 200 wine makers? Then what? What if every bespoke tailor blogged? What sets them apart then? Surely blogging isn’t as vital then? Is business blogging not just an arms race? Didn’t we see the same with getting your site online? Didn’t it happen with people advertising on radio and getting themselves a phone number that people could call? Is this why Werner didn’t worship at the Naked Conversations altar?
So business blogging proponents. Here’s a challenge for you. I run a ball bearing company. Ball bearings are fairly uniform. What is the advantage for me in blogging? What can I blog about ball bearings?
Day 1. So they’re spherical.
Day 2. They don’t bounce, they are not rubber balls.
Day 3. 7 things you can do with ballbearings. (Hat tip to Guy “lists” Kawasaki)
Day 4. Lets have a ballbearings geek dinner.
Day 5. I am diverifying into golden ballbearings. Jumped up shits love paying for rare things like speedboats and 10 grand suits. I can exploit this.
Day 6. Here’s a witty cartoon that does a double entendre about balls. Added in is the word “fuck” for the shock value and so you know I’m an edge case.
Day 7. Some clever A-list bloggers said something profound. I’ll make a funny but nonsensical comment that attacks their detractors and it’ll boost their egos. Sucking up allows me to become part of the luvey dovey club. Oh yes, almost forgot, I sell ball bearings.
If business blogging is ubiquitous then surely you won’t have the success that stormhoek or Thomas Mahon had? Then isn’t it just going back to other forms of marketing to get attention and be unique? Bring back in those techniques that we spat on while being unique business bloggers? I can see it now: “Crazy Al’s Winery. I am the crazy!!!! Read my blog, phone me, see me crazy!”
Tell me why business blogging will give me greater marketshare when everyone else is doing the same. Tell me how in a business that’s all about uniformity I need to stand out? Or must I get out of the market and find a new niche? Doesn’t that create a billion markets and a billion monopolies?
Hat Tip to Hugh Macleod on his post about the market for something to believe in is infinite.
Its like having a phone number and a website. Its the price for doing business in the modern world. What you do with it after that defines how you run your business. There are plentiful of successful businesses with dreadful websites and/or telephone centres, try eircom for starters 🙂
Well I’ve recently started a business blog and the reason is that everyone assumes that as I’m a consultant, I’m the same as the next consultant. I’m going to use the business site to talk about what motivates me to do the work and how I work..That’s going to differentiate me from the next person. In my mind it’s not about what you are selling (service/ball bearings) it’s why you’re doing it and what makes your way of doing it different.
And here’s the blog address (see above), I’m managing two identities and confused in the process!
Mary Gilmartin is the nearest thing to a ball-bearing blogger that I’ve come across. She blogs about cleanroom products and static and ionising systems for Advanced Technology Products in Limerick –
It would be interesting to get her input on this.
Trying to put together a list of Irish Business people who are blogging – lots of people who are related to technology (in some one), but very few ‘pure’ business ones.
[…] Update (2) Damien has a good blogpost on Business Blogging. […]
Didn’t notice this till now, but Im going to leave input anyway.
Its a good point. “ball bearings” seem pretty uniform with very little different to most people who don’t deal day in day out with them.
Being on the techi side of the cleanroom business im probally not best placed to answer this, so forgive me if im not very clear. Feel free to ask any questions.
Ball bearing products still have a lot of complexity to them, ball bearings still have different qualitys and grades, weights etc that most users dont pay too much heed to it they dont need too. So its difficult for the company to attract interest by talking about it. But from time to time someone will need to ask the question and you will need to explain in detail.
Then you need the explaination post and links to more information or phone number in case they want to ask questions.
But when you already know what you need, thats not that interesting, but news on your industry might be. Not to mention how our customers are doing affects us so we are going to watch the industries anyway.
Events and papers arent terribly interesting either if you arent in the “ball bearing” group, but its very handy to have the list and links if you do.
We are the only cleanroom blog I know of. It might not work for us beside raising our profile on the net. We might not get any new customers, but I still thinks its very handy for making ourselves available for information and questions.
Hmm. I’m not sure how well I answered this so feel free to ask more questions.