A dangerous meme is building in the boardroom about blogging

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 4, 2006
Filed in Communication

“I hate paper and would never recommend my organisation use it because so many people just write absolute drivel using paper.” Sounds ridiculous? Well substitute ‘blog’ for paper and that’s an opinion I’m hearing from senior executives.

Hey, here’s the secret: blogging is only a technology, just like paper is a technology. Both technologies enable people to write and distribute their ideas. If we can set aside the nonsense that all blogging is self-indulgent twaddle, we can then highlight what blogging technology can do that paper cannot. A couple of points I would make to senior executives:

  • it’s easier to find things written on a blog
  • you can subscribe to a blog and receive your subscription instantaneously
  • blogs promote linking among people and therefore encourage new social networks (this seems to be an attractive meme for executives)

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. I’ve visited more than one company in which employee blogs are used to whinge or snipe at the employer. The blogs seem to be some kind of cathartic release mechanism, although many of the comments are left anonymously by co-workers! Interestingly, these also seem to be the companies with the weakest personnel facilities…

  2. Dateline 1886?
    This new-fangled invention, the telephone, is just a waste of time for our employees; “I hate the telephone and would never recommend my organisation use it because so many people just talk about absolute drivel using the telephone.”

  3. I think companies are thinking too narrowly about how to use blogs. If you just say to everyone, “here’s your blog, write whatever you like” you are bound to create a mess. It’s like saying, “write whatever you like and we will post it in the foyer and if you feel like commenting as you pass, please do.”
    I advocate a more purposeful approach to blogging in an organisation where bloggers know why they are doing it within a system designed to improve the organisation. An example was set out in my paper, Connection People with Content (https://www.anecdote.com.au/whitepapers.php?wpid=10)

  4. Telephone is another good example. Thanks Harold.

  5. True dat!
    While it is inherently true that a lot of blogging is simply what I describe as mental masturbation, the fact that it transcends many human boundaries and encourages discussion makes it the greates modern method of communicating. Outside of the RW of course.

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