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Friday, July 22, 2005


"Guardians of the blogosphere"

A wonderful blogsist article by Christine Larson on Blogging Bosses (U.S. News & World Report, July 25).

It's all PR puffery, of course, allowing our captains of industry to spout their stuff and feign interest in "creating a dialogue", but it's also surprisingly patronizing in parts and I suspect that Ms Larson is a jealous territory-defending blogista herself.

On the question of CEOs putting their innermost thoughts out there, I agree with the interviewee who pointed out that,

"It's naive to think these blogs are anything other than carefully planned communications. Because of regulation and the possibility of attacks from antagonists, companies can't be off the cuff in their communication."
Thinking back on my own corporate publicist days, I can't think of a single CEO I'd have allowed anywhere *near* a blog - BUT - it would have been enormous fun mimicking their style and ghosting on their behalf.

For Professor of communications at La Salle University, Michael Smith is bizarrely out of touch with the melting pot aspect of blogging, or why would he allow himself to be caught quoting so pompously that,

"The image of an executive blogging is akin to the image of a portly person in a Speedo bathing suit - something doesn't quite fit."

But my favorite 'Overweening Blog' quote is almost too good to be true. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Larson had invented it.

We're meant to believe that none other than the VP, Boeing Commercial, dear old Randy Baseler was innocently tapping away when he was hit with,

"negative comments from the guardians of the blogosphere, saying, 'You're a corporate hack. Turn your blog off.' ".
RB was also apparently chastised for not allowing readers to post their own comments -- a blunder he says wasn't an attempt at spin control, just the lack of the right software.

Can't you just see some burning-eyed fart - whole armies of them, I rather suspect - solemnly believing in the rôle of self-appointed Guardian of the sacred flame?

Lawks a' daisy, there'd be a right old gadarene stampede for *that* oracular position.

The awful thing is ... one knows they're out there. One of the catalytic effects of this new past time has been byteracy and literacy thrown together once more, with the effect that both sides are circling the wagons and eyeing each other with mutual bafflement and suspicion.

As for blogging as a favorite executive tool? I can't see it catching on, m'self. It's far more likely that this piece came about with the Larson spotting a chance to make some extra bread by cashing in on the hot topic du jour.

After bosses, who's next? Blogging babysitters? The Blogging Homeless?

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