Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Fear Of Weblogging: Executives, Your Time Is Up!

Sponsored Links

Robert Scoble, chief Microsoft blogging evangelist has really some great stuff on his blog. I must acknowledge this.

His passion, open and direct reporting of the events and issues that touch him most directly, the frankness and smart questioning he uses with his interviewees, his unstoppable smile and embracing attitude make him a true model for what one style of effective professional blogging is headed.

I know yet very little about him, but from the few things I have seen he is a truly remarkable idea catalyst and a formidable, highly attentive technology analyst.

Though I see a very explicit Copyright notice on his blog, I have a very hard time in refraining from popularizing some broad sections of one his latest posts dedicated to corporate blogging.

As you are probably aware yourself, corporate people have a high fear of exposing themselves to blogs, as the journalistic approach required by them is one where you report up front most of what has never been covered by inflated press releases and hipy Web promotional pages.

But the corporate guys have felt that the time has come. They know it is only a matter of "when" they themselves will start blogging.

So, since I myself know a lot of these corporate figures, who would greatly benefit from consistently writing their best reflections, opinions and ideas in a blog, I would like to dedicate to them this edited selection of passages from Robert Scoble "Are you afraid to blog?" today's post.

Here it is:

Fear of being different. Fear of telling your boss your ideas. Fear of speaking up in meetings. Fear of going up to someone you don't know and introducing yourself. Fear of doing something that might destroy your career.

Fear of weblogging.

It's time we get over our fears.

I meet a lot of people around the industry. Almost everytime I meet someone, I ask them "do you have a weblog?" That's my way of saying "I like you and want to hear more of your ideas."


I've asked this question of people at Apple. Google. IBM. eBay. Real Networks. Cisco. Intel. HP. Amazon. And, yes, here at Microsoft.

Too often the answer is "I couldn't do that."

"Why not?" I ask.

"Because I might get fired," is often the answer. I hate that answer. It's an example of corporate fear. An artifact of a management system that doesn't empower its employees to act on behalf of customers.


Lately, more and more people, both inside and outside of Microsoft, have been asking me for ways to convince their boss to "get" weblogging. Translation: they are trying to overcome their fears (and/or get their managers to empower them).

Lately I've been answering with one word: Kryptonite.


Kryptonite. Lately I've been asking audiences I've been speaking to "who knows the Kryptonite story?" 75% do.

If you don't know the story, do a Google search for Kryptonite and "Bic Pen". We'll wait.

We just watched the destruction of an American brand. 75% know about it. Why? Because of one or two weblogs and the new word-of-mouth network. Yes, Engadget and Gizmodo do have that kind of power. Engadget alone has 250,000 of the most influential readers the world has ever seen.


Here's what's going on: the word-of-mouth networks are becoming more efficient at a time when people trust large corporations less and less.

The time it takes for an idea to be hatched, found by Slashdot, and then reported in the mainstream media, is now about five weeks.

Next time around it will be even faster.

Why? The word-of-mouth networks are becoming more efficient.

Today there's 4,305,245 weblogs, as reported by Technorati.


"OK, what are the reasons I should let my employees blog?"

1) People don't trust corporations. Especially big and successful ones like, um, Microsoft. Come on, be honest, none of you really trust us to do the right thing, do you? So, how do we show you that we're trustworthy? We need to invite you deep inside our corporate structures and talk to you like human beings. It's exactly why Channel 9 resonates with so many of you.

2) People don't like talking to corporations. Again, be honest, if you saw a press release from a big company asking for you to provide feedback on something, would you?

3) That old "markets are conversations" thing. If you haven't read the Cluetrain Manifesto, why not?

4) Which is more believeable? A press release from, say, Ford Motor Company, or a few blog entries from the people who designed the new Ford Mustang's powertrain.

5) Blogs build customer evangelists. I learned at the MSN Search Champs that people WANT to be evangelists for your products, they just need to be included in the business. "Huh?" I can hear some of you asking. You know, include your most passionate customers from the very start of the product planning cycle.

6) Blogs build market momentum and get adoption. Ask Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords, about this one. He's gotten world-class reviews in the newspapers you all love and know (just a week or so ago ActiveWords was in the New York Times). But he gets more downloads of his product when I linked to him than when a famous "USA" newspaper wrote a glowing review. They have millions of readers.

What would you be adding to this list?

P.S.: Excellent, Robert. I look forward to more of this.

Robert Scoble - [ Read more ]
Readers' Comments    
2004-10-20 07:09:20

Robert Scoble

I actually don't mind at all if you quote large parts of my blog. As long as you attribute it and link, that is. Which you did.

Thanks so much for the kind comments. I'm sad that I didn't get to know you better at the search champs thing.

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, October 19 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Search this site for more with 








    Curated by

    New media explorer
    Communication designer


    POP Newsletter

    Robin Good's Newsletter for Professional Online Publishers  



    Real Time Web Analytics