This week we've been discussing the conventions of blogging. Over and over again. Especially the conventions for organisational blogging. Because there seem to exist many different opinions about what function a blog has - about the bennefits and possible dangers.
From my point of view, the most important functions of an organisations blog is
1. to show the surrounding world a true or authentic picture of the organisations values and the people outliving those values. 2, to keep an open dialouge with everybody who's got an interest in the organisation. And 3, that the blog provides a frame to share knowledge.
I am a quite new blogger, and what I've found most surprising about the bloggosphere is how loyal bloggers seem to be. By loyal I meen that bloggers seem to respect eachothers opinions, no matter how different they might be. They keep their texts and comments within the relevant theme and mostly in a relevant language.
Furthermore, bloggers seem loyal to what I call "the unwritten rules" of blogging. These rules, I think, are bread in a paradigm of opennes and are not yet fully understood or accepted by many organisations. These rules contains the expectations of what a blog has do tecnically (it has to contain rss-feeds, links, commentboxes, some kind of categories to navigate in and some information about who and when the text is from), and also - more importantly - the expectations about the people behind the blog. We expect that the opinions of the bloggers are infact the real opinions of the real author. We expect some kind of feedback from our comments. And we expect that the issues discussed on the blog represents the work of (or issues discussed within) the organisation.
This kind of loyalty is seen through the judgement (or punishment) of blogs that are 'cheating'. Fx Walmarts blog shows a good example of how wrong it goes, when a blog looses its reliability.
Cases like this might help to convince ceo's about not only the bennefits of blogging the "right way", but also the concequenses of blogging the "wrong way".
This is my understanding of the bloggosphere so forth. And if it's not far from the truth, organisations do not have worry about opening a dialouge with the sorrounding world, as long as they follow the rules...