McKinsey Reports Businesses Loving Web 2.0… Except Blogs

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by: Karl Long

Putting People First blog just posted about a survey that strategy consultancy McKinsey just conducted with executives about web 2.0 technologies and found significant interest and support, but they still shy away from blogs:

Only 16% of the companies surveyed said they were investing in blogs, compared to 63% for web services, 28% for peer-to-peer networks, and 19% for social networks.

78% identified web services as the Web 2.0 technology/tool most important their their business.

Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week says companies are afraid of blogs.

Why? IMHO companies are still uncomfortable talking to their customers directly, actually, uncomfortable allowing “employees” to talk to customers directly. They like the idea of social networks and communities, they are easily distinguished from the “company”. Blogs on the other hand are written by humans, that talk to other humans, employees to customers, employees to partners, employees to investors, employees to stock markets, employees to press (or at least that seems to be the terrifying image).

One of the problems is that people that are blogging are not necessarily the communication professionals that companies would like to be blogging. In fact they are people who work on the nuts an bolts, it’s a marketing person talking about marketing, its a developer talking about developing apps. In fact if a communication professional started blogging they would be more likely to be participating in the PR blogosphere.

The problem for companies is they want to decide who represents them in the marketplace, that’s why there are spokespeople, i’m sure they would prefer to pick the people who blog for the company and groom them and train them to say the right things. But right now the early adopter bloggers are driven by something else, they self identify, they just start blogging, they just are blogging. I really think companies need to do a better job of finding the people who are blogging in their company and saying “hey, how can we help”.

Look at what Digitas has done with David Armano, and now Greg Verdino .

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