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Blogging represents a new way to achieve credibility: through conversation, which requires a company trust its customers/potential customers. A company cannot dictate or control the messages anymore. They can't easily buy customers through advertising or manufactured spin. The old "control the message" school - which required no trust on the part of the company - fails in the face of distributed communications/networking. Just ask Kryptonite.

Now, companies can take a new route. They can trust that their customers can deal with the messiness behind the scenes as new products are developed, as problems are solved. The customers can choose to become an active part of the process, vs. being passive consumers of an end-product.

It is indeed a new way of thinking about marketing, sales and communications. But trust building takes time, so there will be no magic bullets. You can't expect to build a blog, for example, and have your sales shoot up. But companies who are willing to begin having real conversations with their customers will reap the rewards in the long run.

> But trust building takes time ...
That is why I'm convinced that there is room for new brands, new companies.
Rebuilding takes time. Starting from scratch gives you more opportunity.

For the economy (and perhaps politics, etc. as well), I’m totally convinced that blogging is the solution. With the blog, you open access to backstage. People want to know what’s going on behind the scenes, what they’re buying, and how it’s made.

Let's be clear, though: a blog is a great way for a company that is competent and trustworthy to communicate that through telling stories in the authentic, credible voices of its employees. You cannot simply take the blogging model and impose it on an inherently untrustworthy and more-often-than-not incompentent arena - such as politics and government - and expect to get value from it. What you end up with is politician bloggers who are writing about nothing much of interest or value...or the politicians don't even bother to blog themselves, and instead have their office juniors posting nothing much of interest or value (view British MP Boris Johnson's blog to see this in action).

I believe that giving is the new marketing. Right now, the best tool to give value on a widespread, networked scale is the blog. But what any company needs to remember is that you still have to have value to give in the first place.

I believe that what makes a good entrepreneur is some idealism. But too much idealism makes a very bad entrepreneur.

Blogs can and therefore will be used to manipulate. Blogs can and therefore will be used to cover up. Since it's a new media, there's no precedent, so no general scepticism about it yet.

My personal experience has generally been that most of the time when people suspect that something pretty disgusting is happening under the hood, they are wrong. They are wrong about the reasons, which are usually incompetence, lack of planning, mistakes etc. Because we have a very hard time believing that somebody considered powerful can be very stupid at times. There is a social need to respect power. You can respect meanness. You can't respect stupidity. If "those in power" are like us, something very reassuring breaks.

Blogs will face as much scepticism as everything else as soon as they are really used. And like everything else, this is too harsh a criticism. If we really want blogs to succeed in rebuilding a bond, let's stop hyping them in this way. Let's try to break the usual saint/whore cycle.

Do you recall the E advertising/marketing good old days... contextual links content was considered as true as any official info, today anyone running an affiliation program knows that affiliates expect to get text instead of banners to boost CTR .... nothing new, basically people trying to avoid commercials, and marketing trying to smash commercials in people's face,...this is what advertising is all about...( TF1 boss was cristal clear on this point ) so Viral, Buzz techniques are gaining a new tool, namely the blog,...

And once the erosion of "classic" audiences and new behaviour patterns will be confirmed, we will see a progressive re-assignement of marketing budgets....

But, but,.. let's have also some dreams... any additionnal source of information is a plus for our society...


Hope and confidence have been shattered here in the US beginning with the NASDAQ crash in 2000 and accelerated by 9/11, corporate scandals, Terrorism, Iraq and a sluggish economy.

It seems to me that Blogs, particularly by the CEO, are a tool to begin to restore the hope and confidence that current and prospective customers need.

This is an excellent time for CEO's to blog with thier heart about their business and their industry. Those that do will be rewarded.

I couldn't say it better.
Thanks :)

That is why I'm convinced that there is room for new brands, new companies.
Rebuilding takes time. Starting from scratch gives you more opportunity--------------

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