Bloggers Bash Corporate ‘Blog Council’

Nothing gets bloggers riled-up more than a secret cabal of corporate types forming yet another industry get-together to ‘understand’ how to talk to the public. Coca-Cola and General Motors, are two of the twelve founding members of the newly-created Blog Council.

Other founding members are AccuQuote, Cisco Systems, Dell, Gemstar-TV Guide, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP, and Wells Fargo.

One purpose for the private group is “how to use blogs and engage the blogosphere the right way,” said Sean O’Driscoll, General Manager, Community Support Services for Microsoft, in a statement. What the “right way” is is indicated in another goal of the group: “a united voice to provide the corporate perspective in the blogosphere.” In other words, message control.

The council, which meets in January, emphasized that while they’ll meet in private, nothing untoward is planned.

“Major corporations use blogs differently while abiding by the same rules and etiquette,” said Andy Sernovitz, Blog Council CEO.

“Individual and small-business bloggers don’t face the same issues. For example, we still need to deliver a responsible and effective corporate message, but we need to do it in the complicated environment of the blogosphere,” explained Sernovitz.

“I’ve done enough speaking to enough corporations now that if they don’t get why they should be talking with their customers already I don’t get how hanging out at yet another boring industry conference is going to help them to get it,” tech blogger and former Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble writes at his site.

The TechCrunch site believes the group’s first mistake was its name.

“My natural reaction against the Council is based on its name; ‘The Blog Council’ sounds like it owns blogging or has some sort of superior position over the medium, where as it is nothing of the sort,” Duncan Riley wrote Friday.

Mashable’s Mark Hopkins, who once worked at Blog Council member Nokia, said those companies now involved don’t represent firms that actually ‘get’ corporate blogging. Hopkins nominated Yahoo, Brightcove, Southwest Airlines and Google as examples the Council should emulate.

In an ironic twist, the Blog Council violated the first foundational rule of blogging: community. The Council’s blog has public comments turned off.

Post originally written by Ed Sutherland

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