My current read “Naked Conversations
Robert Scoble Robert Scoble
& Shel Israel
” was one of the most awaited books in my library
Scoble, the Channel-9
creator has truly touched on all the aspects of blogging and is must read for any blogger!!!
Chapter#12 (How not to get Dooced) contains “The Corporate weblog Manifesto” , is a must read for corporate bloggers and how they can use blogs to strengthen their relationship with customers.Below is the complete manifesto:
Tell the Truth,whole truth and nothing but the truth.If your competitor has a better product than link to it.They might also do a link exchange.
Post fast on both good as well as bad news.If someone says something bad about the product , link to it before the second of third site does-and answer it’s claims as best as you can.Same , if there is some good news about your product.It’s all about building a long-term trust.
Use a Human Voice.Don’t get corporate lawyers and PR professionals to modify your speech. We can tell,believe me. Plus, you’ll be too slow. If you’re the last one to post, the joke is on you! If we don’t see an occasional typo , we’ll start to wonder if you are really human
Make sure that you support the latest software/web/human standards.If you don’t know what they are,find about them.
Have a thick skin.Don’t try to write a corporate blog unless you can’t answer all the questions(good or bad) , professionally and quickly.
Seek out as many grassroots news resources as possible so that you know what is being discussed in the areas of interest to you.
Talk to grassroots first.The reason being , the mainstream press cruises weblogs looking for stories and looking for people to quote.People trust stories that have quotes from multiple stories , they don’t trust press releases.
If you screw up something,acknowledge it fast.Also,give a plan to unscrew it and than deliver.
Under promise and over deliver (Here,lies the key)
Know your influencer’s, salesmen, connectors of your marketplace.If you can’t connect to them during the stage of crisis than you shouldn’t try maintaining a corporate weblog.
Never change your weblog’s URL.If at all this is done,it would take several months to build up the same patterns and trust.
If your life is in turmoil and/or you are unhappy than don’t write.This would affect the writing quality in subtle ways and your readers would notice.
If you don’t have answers , say a no.Not having answers is human but get them and exceed expectations.
Never lie.You’ll get caught and hence,would lose credibility.
Never hide information.Just like space shuttle engineers,your information will get out and would loose credibility.
If you have any information that might get you in a lawsuit,consult a lawyer before posting and make it fast.
Link to your competitors and say nice things about them.Just try to be better than your competitors.
Be nice to everyone.When a big fish comes along,most people do whatever to keep the big fish happy.It is better to be nice to everyone and not just the big fish.
Be the authority of your product/company.You should know more about your product than anyone, if you’re writing a weblog about it.If there are others who know more than you, than better link them !!!
Know who is talking to you.Use services like Technorati, Pubsub….to see who they are?
Be transparent.Show you have nothing to hide.Blogging is a great way to build relationships with the other people, and nothing builds trust and confidence like people who demonstrate they aren’t hiding anything.
Build relationships offline too.If people get to know you face to face , they’ll stick by your side more often than not.Spend time in blogger meetups and conferences.
Disclose all conflicts and biases.Being transparent with your readers about your conflicts and/or biases will help you remain credible.Own a stock in your company,write about it.Get taken to dinner by a company or a person because your blog? Write about it….
Don’t blog on demand.Your blog is your own hence , always make sure that it is you who is writing somethings and not someone else.You are responsible for the content that goes on your blog.
Keep confidences.If someone says “This is not for your blog”, than don’t write about it.Set ground rules upfront for any conversation.It’s not fair for people to give you a demo and afterward say “You’re not going to put this on your blog, are you?”
Be clear when you are speaking for your company.If you’re writing a personal blog,sometimes the company might want you to write something on it.If this happens than be very clear about the role change.Also,when you’re writing your own opinion of it, it is better to say “This is my own opinion” or some other qualifier to make sure your readers understand that the information is not vetted or approved.
Demonstrate passion.Post frequently.
Respond to your readers.Read your comments,check for your referer log frequently and link back to those who are talking to you.Link to others and they would return the gesture.
Be ethical.Read and follow Charlene Lis and Allan Jenkins ethics policies.They would help you avoid ethical dilemmas.
Realize that you don’t have free speech.Your writing will be judged under the legal standards for corporate speech,especially if you are an executive of the company, so you must take care to be acccurate in terms of Product claims.
Have a conversation to your manager about blogging before you start and find out what kinds of blogging, he or she will defend.
It is always risky to attack the boss.Do it sparingly.Do with your eyes open and expect backlash.
Be careful with the legal issues.Commenting on legal issues is very risky.Be very careful when you comment in such blogs.Remember that blogs are read worldwide by people who might not see things the way they see them.
If you want to change something about the world, than ask yourself “How will I best get the change I want?”.Realize it’s easier to change your company from inside than outside.