Friday, July 08, 2005

Corporate Blogging (or is it???)

Having just finished looking at those six FoxNews links, I mean, Blogs, I wonder if this kind of corporate blogging will trickle down to the local level one day?

It hasn't yet at Fox8(a Fox Owned Station) where I make a full time living, and a substantial number of other co-workers blog about their daily trials and tribulations.(some of it work related some not)

Important questions, though, will then have to be answered if(when) news outlets and businesses in general let(encourage)(make) their employees blog in the name of the corporation. One of the first things to consider about corporate blogging is that the personal and unbiased nature of blogging for one's self could be lost.

"Hey, today I went to cover a story about this, check out this link and don't forget to watch our news, and tell all your Nielson metered friends and family to do the same."

Not that I don't load my blog with references back to my work. It pays my bills for goodness sake. But nobody is telling me what I have to say or what I can't say about my job.(except for all the paperwork I signed when I was hired 7 years ago committing myself to secrecy about.....well, if I told you it wouldn't be secrecy would it?) Basically it's called common sense.

I think the biggest difference if mine was a company blog instead of a personal blog about what I do for the company would be the content about my interaction with the competition. Even though business is fierce and our rivals at 2,12 and 45/48 are our arch enemies from 5:00am to 9:00am and 5:00pm to 6:30pm and 10:00pm to 11:30pm, we are all just doing our jobs and I like writing about the nature of the relationships formed in the field gathering TV news. I have a feeling that would be lost in a corporate blog. And I would understand that.

Some TV stations are starting to jump on the blogwagon as a means to be interactive with the viewers. I think this is a great idea, but I'm not sure this is really blogging however. It's called blogging, and it's formatted like blogging, but is it blogging. Let's see, walk's like a duck, check. Looks like a duck, check. Talk's like a duck, wait a minute here...

Check out the News, Weather and Sports blogs on the website of NBC affiliate WITN in the 105th TV market. These are not blogs. With a very slight exception to the weather blog but I take that back since it hasn't been updated since June 23. They are very news-ish...and not updated or personal at all.(except again for the weather blog)'s top 5 definitions of the word blog say that a blog is a personal journal, an online diary. Some of the definitions for the word include the use of news links, but none of the definitions have the corporate world involved.

But as with everything else on the net, the business world will inevitably ebrace, use and abuse blogging as just another tool to reach out and touch potential clients.(viewers in the TV business)

And this use of blogging by businesses, specifically the media, can be done well. The Greensboro News and Record seems to be on the cutting edge of this and their disclaimer actually lends some credibility to these blogs. The bloggers of the News and Record seem to have free reign over their blogging.

Nashville TV station WKRN has a great looking blog. They even hired a full time blogger to post blogs about news issues from local to world to the unusual.

And it's sister station KRON in SanFrancisco has also recently started a blog. I haven't looked at it a bunch, but after 5 minutes I give it a thumbs up for today's entries.

But are these really blogging or just a frequently updated news website dressed up to look like a duck? Don't get me wrong, I read 'em, but I would like to see some internalization of the content instead of as many links to things around the world. Give me some more details about the local stories including interviews with reporters about their stories or sidebars to stories whether they have just aired or are on the horizon and I'm a viewer(not really since I don't live in Nashville or SanFran, but you get the picture). That's where a good corporate blog turns into a great corporate tool.

It will be an interesting ride to see where this blogging takes us. Right now it's a bit backwards in a way. Humans have always generally turned business tools into personal toys. Now that the general public has a toy to play with the corporate world wants it bad.

But will it be called blogging?


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