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IBM's Credible Message: Blogging Means Business

Neville Hobson
Expert Author
Published: 2005-10-04

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Two senior IBM executives are featured in an informative and engaging series of audiovisual presentations that present the case for blogs as strategic business tools.

Presented by Harriet Pearson, IBM's Chief Privacy Officer and Vice President for Corporate Affairs, and Willy Chiu, Vice President of IBM's High Performance On Demand Solutions Group, some very interesting facts are included in this communication about IBM's own blogging initiatives:

  1. IBM now has between 12-14,000 active employee bloggers from 73 countries

  2. The company's internal Blog Central has over 12,000 users who post regularly

  3. Over the past year, the number of users and blog posts have quadrupled

  4. "Blogging is the glue that brings all the experts together within the company"
Neither Pearson nor Chiu are bloggers themselves, as BL Ochman points out: "The credibility issue with these executives discussing blogging: neither has a public blog. If they believe in the value of blogging, why aren't they doing it?"

I don't think credibility is an issue here at all. What I get from this communication is seeing and hearing two senior executives who talk about a topic in the broad context of building communities in the marketplace in a way that leads me to believe that they know what they're talking about. And it's not about blogging itself - it's about an enabling tool. Think of the primary audience this message is directed at (large enterprises) and then think about communicating with that audience about a topic in a way that is likely to appeal to them. Likely, too, is the fact that the majority in that audience won't be bloggers either.

Mind you, if both executives did have blogs, that might add to their credibility with some in the primary audience. It might also enable anyone to engage in dialogue directly with both executives as well as get a sense on a more personal level of who they are. (Actually, you can get one sense of that - one clue is to look at the 'about' information on each exec which includes a brief list of which blogs they read. My podcast co-presenter, Shel Holtz, would be pleased to note that among the blogs Harriet Pearson lists is Shel's.)

Nevertheless, this is powerful communication delivered by credible people on a topic that many in large companies don't see as a valuable business tool at all. I'd say the information IBM is presenting will help them see the light.

Nice work, IBM.

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About the Author:
Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly an independent communication practitioner helping companies build dynamic relationships with customers, employees, shareholders and other key audiences and influencers. Visit Neville Hobson's blog: NevilleHobson.com.

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