The competitive difference that blogging allows isn’t so much the content on its own but also the context in which it’s being said. A conversation on a blog simply allows for a greater degree of freedom, which in turn changes the quality of the information communicated. The nature of the exchange is thus different. For example if I talk to a colleague at work about England’s performance in the World Cup, it is set in a different than such discussion on my blog.
Similarly business blogging in stimulating exchanges with customers needs to recognise that the limitations on the interaction. The corporate inclination is to set the parameters of what is allowed much narrower than a customer or set of customers might want to. The point being simply that it pays to think in advance how wide an acceptable discussion parameter is set from the outset; as the wider the better – the greater the latitude the greater the chance to find out what the customer is really thinking about. Though of course it has to be balanced with internal company cultural constraints. But there also lies the catalytic power of blogging. If applied properly it can help change the business to make it more customer-centric and stimulate the destruction of old knowledge; it is a two-way dialogue which is closer to the customer’s reality, moving it on from a fancy marketing tool, to a means of being able to benefit from ‘uncertainty’.