We need a new word.
The Wall Street Journal has an article about blogging as the new corporate job.
I’m not happy with applying the same word to what I do and what corporate public relations offices do.
To me, blogging is about exploiting the Internet as a cheap publishing medium for individuals. While coporate and commercial entities can certainly use the same technologies, their motivations are not the motivations of individuals.
For instance, the article referenced above talks about a gourmet popcorn company who is looking for a corporate blogger to maintain a company blog about the “love of popcorn”. Imagine for a second that you were surfing the net for information about the best popcorn, and you encounter such a blog. What can you learn from it?
You certainly could learn that the Dale & Tomas Popcorn company makes gourmet popcorn, but you could learn that from their conventional advertising.
Perhaps you could learn popcorn recipes or gain ideas for parties, but again, you could learn that from a more conventional website.
You could try to post comments about your favorite brands. But what happens if your favorite brand isn’t the right one? Suppose you think that the corporate sponsor’s popcorn tastes like packing material. Maybe it even does. Because the blog has the ability (and, in fact, the incentive) to censor negative comments about their product, you can’t actually learn anything useful about the quality of their product. You might just as well be watching a commercial.
Don’t be fooled. Corporations are interested in blogs for one reason only: they think they can use them to sell their products. They don’t work for you: they work for their corporate taskmasters.
They aren’t blogging, they are plugging.