I started to write this in response to a great comment on my post “Blogging as a Topic in MBA Programs.” It got so long that I decided to create a new entry. I encourage disagreement to my posts as it helps really develop a concept. Here is the comment and what I had to say about it.
I fully agree with you both in the sense that the blogosphere gives very strong possibilities of communication and dialogue.
However, anyone following FON knows exactly what not to do is such a channel.
Zach, sorry for this, but either you have not made an objective analysis or you were simply throwing out the first idea you had in mind with the word blog…
Josh, thanks for the comment and tactful opposition… It is appreciated at least as much as an agreement. (On a side note… I have my blog setup to hold the first comment from an individual for moderation. I do this only to avoid spam and not to moderate the content of legitimate comments.)
Why do you feel that FON’s use of blogging has not been effective?
The official blogs on FON’s site have been fairly inactive, but I have been following the blogs of both Ejovi Nuwere and Martin Varsavsky for the last few months and Martin’s has been particularly FON focused.
I like how Martin has used his blog as a communication tool for new ideas that FON is developing. For example, he posted some of the first drafts of art work that Miguel Sal had been working on for FON and got feedback from FON community. That’s a pretty cheap and effective way to hold a “focus group” with real end users.
Like I mentioned in my post… I also really like the personal voice that their blogs have given to the company.
From my perspective these blogs have also enabled FON to gain a lot of popularity and traction without spending a lot on marketing in it’s early stages, which is critical for a startup.
All of that being said… I also think there are some risks in having a blogger focused company such as FON. I think that Ejovi’s recent departure from FON is a prime example of that. Ejovi has posted three parts to his FON story and we are waiting on the final chapter to see why he left. From what I’ve seen so far there won’t be any ground shaking conclusions from his final post, but it certainly could make a company nervous to know that one of their founders could be writing damaging things and a lot of people are listening. This topic also came up during Enrique Dans’ class focused on the effects blogging is having on the business world.
Customers and employees having a forum for directly voicing their opinions to the world poses a threat as well as an opportunity. Hopefully this will help encourage companies to be honest and ethical in the way they treat their constituents.
Josh, thanks again for the comment as it has inspired me to further develop my opinion on a topic that is important to me, which is exactly why I started blogging. I look forward to hearing back from you.
P.S. I have no affiliation with FON other than it being an interesting case study. As a matter of fact… Where I live in Hawaii, I think I’m the only FON hot spot!