Great musings by Mark Evans on the state of Canadian Blogging and the over-enthusiastic approach of Naked Conversations. I'm a big advocate of blogging by corporations - the company with few secrets to hide and a willingness to collaborate with its citizen stakeholders is a company designed for success in 2006. Plus, it's an innate "hoser" mentality to talk openly, our companies should be no different.
Having said that, I've read a good part of Naked Conversations, it had a familiar feel. I remember when I first read Cluetrain Manifesto I had a similar reaction "great guys I get it, open conversations good, closed boardroom decisions bad - now let's devote a bit of the book to how to get them to work in a company". Blogs are faced with the same current issues faced by the left side of the political spectrum - books like Naked Conversations stoke the believers but do little in convincing the other side (a fence-sitter or cynic) to change.
I agree with Robert's and Shel's thesis but it does come across as a bit sanctimonious. Blog cultists have to realize that to ever breakout of this somewhat artificial bubble world and get mainstream respect that they seem to be craving, they have to embrace the outside world that may not understand them or yet appreciate them My Name is Kate had a great post about this last February about the Blog Pundits assassination of any business over $1 billion that builds a blog out but doesn't use their consulting services.
Let's add some levity back into this post, the 10 companies in Canada that should have a blog:
1) A Bank, Any Bank - good forward thinking people work at banks, give them a voice ...if banking can be this comfortable, it should also apply from the inside out
2) A Gas company, Any Gas Company - commiserating with Kate T's plight about explaining gas company's prices - better to be part of the conversation then to avoid it
4) As mentioned in a previous post, Tim Horton's - there is a raging enthusiasm for this brand that needs to be embraced - if you think people rallied around their IPO wait until they take hold of their blog
5) Starbucks, Timothy's and Second Cup - based on #4, coffee is powerful metaphor for conversation, beyond the great java buzz and pleasant drinking environment, I'm still missing the relationship piece with all 3 of these premium players
6) Canadian Tire - already mentioned I know but such rich history and such a shifting marketplace, blogging would continue to build the aura around the brand and a way to stay ahead of that other big department store from Arkansas
7) Blackberry - perhaps given all their successful leaks lately found on Engadget, they'd prefer their mole Boy Genius to do their talking - still a product selling like hotcakes, a large developer community, a hangover from a patent suit and a charismatic CEO should amount to enthusiasm for blogging
8) Lululemon or Running Room - both of these groups are riding the crest of fitness mania, have strong community groups and loyalty to brand and Presidents Chip Wilson and John Staunton have an openness about them - the idea of blogging here would not be a push
9) Cirque Du Soleil - it has such an interesting canvas to play with, i would find it seriously interesting to find out what happens behind "the curtains"
10) Toronto Maple Leafs -anybody who has had the uncomfortable feeling of listening to GM John Ferguson get through a press conference without saying "no comment or I can't mention that at this time" knows this venerable brand needs to lead the conversation in this hockey media mobbing marketplace- a blog would be a perfect remedy