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Let’s talk about Blogs

May 25, 2009

Blogging has become an important tool for organizations to communicate with their constituents in the last few years. In part some my own reasons for publishing my thesis were because this is such a powerful avenue of communication.  Blogging for institutions is tricky however, and there can be great resistance within organizations.

Take for example my post from “Blogging and Control” and this post by Gordon Firemark:

“So, what happens if a member of your cast, crew or staff is blogging, and for some reason expresses discontent, or artistic “concerns”? I think it’s important for those running the production to supervise and monitor the blogging activities of members of their productions. Certainly, a show’s “official” blog needs to remain under the control of the producers (and press agents, advertising agency, etc)… but producers should also build into contracts with all members of the production some right of approval of their ‘personal’ online communications about or relating to the show.”

The problem with this statement by Mr. Firemark is that blogs are personal, that’s how people see them, and organizations need to respect that. If they are being controlled too tightly and lack transparency that creates honest conversation, people will not engage with them. People who read blogs from organizations expect this personal relationship. This is why blogs are so tricky to do. As an organization, you must plan and control the output for the blog, but at the same time respect the medium for what it is.

As to his point about approval of personal blogs when they have posts about the show, I think this is also a bit too extreme. Certainly a good policy for all involved with the organization about how they represent the organization on blogs is in order,  but to suggest a contract seems a bit like killing the fly with a sledgehammer.

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