Bloggers in a Dot Bomb World
Henry Jenkins has written two (similar) pieces (here and here) on the increasing popularity and importance of blogging.
What I really like about Jenkins' pieces is how he melds blogging and mainstream media: Mainstream media will help shape our nation's common values, principles and core issues and the web (via blogging) will reframe those messages for specific segments and communities ....": turn on the TV and it feels like the same programs are on all the channels; turn to the Web and it’s impossible to distinguish the good stuff from the noise. Bloggers respond to both extremes, expanding the range of perspectives and, if they’re clever, creating order from the informational chaos."
I think Jenkins' articles go beyond some of the beliefs in the blogging community that the broadcast/mainstream media will die out and be replaced with a world of loosley joined pieces (for a kids explanation, which is also great for some grownups check here). While we live in a world where we can connect to someone thousands of miles away, we are still connected to our neighbors and our physical communities. The irony is that broadcast will maintain the consistency in values among neighbors while the web will diversify our culture and empower us to follow our passions and gain alternate perspectives on the physical world, like politics, sports, business ideas, and other issues and topics.
Blogging For Businesses .....
How does business use blogging? I've got some solid ideas. And they begin with David Weinberger's idea that customers (should) "own" a business' web site. And it continues with Chris Locke's idea in Gonzo Marketing that companies should underwrite websites that express common interests of the company's customers and employees.
Except my idea doesn't keep the underwritten web site separate from the company's web site. Instead, a community of bloggers (of both employees and customers), is hosted and promoted on the company's web site. Those who hold passions revolving around a company's product or service can discuss that passion within a community of bloggers on the company's web site.
The blogs will still be "owned" by the blog's creators while maintaining autonomy, similar to how one hosts their blog on Blog Spot. However the host will reflect a more niche community. For example, my blog on Guitar World Magazine's web site could be http://scottmusic.guitarworldblog.com. If I offer similar, but non-competing service, or content, and have gained the popularity to do so effectively (like Chris Locke has done in his community), Guitar World will underwrite my web site, promote it, etc. In return I link back to Guitar World's web site, and I send them leads.