This is the next interview in the continuing series of Computing Canada’s (CC) Blogged Down (BD) which is featured here “first” in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum.

In part 4 of this blog series, we continue our talk with Richard Giles, an industry leading authority and pioneer in blogging, podcasting and new media (Web 2.0). Richard is also the founder of Clique Communications.

Today I put these questions to Richard:

Stephen: You have a new book. Can you provide some best practices from the book?

Richard: The book is essentially a book on how to use Flickr: How To Use Flickr: The Digital Photography Revolution. As such, it's not really one to contain best practices. However, in the book I try and capture a sense of the community that is evolving within and around the service. Other than the general tip of using Flickr if you like to take or share photographs, I'd say it's to pay attention to the many online communities that are springing up. I covered some interesting stories that have happened, because Flickr was designed to encourage social interaction.

Stephen: What are the pros and cons for corporate blogging?

Richard:

Pros:

  • A blog provides a human voice, which after hearing stale corporate voices is a fresh change that everyone appreciates.
  • It encourages the writer and the reader to be involved in conversations. For a company that's invaluable. Being able to speak directly to customers can assist in many different instances.
  • It makes the company-person and the corporation more approachable.
  • It provides the author and the company greater visibility, which even in bad times is a good thing.
  • It provides a mechanism for a faster response. If you're using a weblog as a real communication tool, then you'll hear and respond to situations faster than through traditional corporate channels.
  • It's unfiltered. Jonathan Schwartz at Sun Microsystems enjoys having the population hear what he has to say, unfiltered through the media, or even PR.
  • Increases a company's Google rank. Being near the top of a Google search is as important, (if not more so in instances), than being listed in the Yellow Pages these days.
  • Cost effective, because it can be started for free.
  • Great potential to be seen as "an expert."
  • Great networking tool. You'd be surprised how many people you can meet through a weblog.

Cons:

  • Potential for legal liability (however, the same can be said for many other communication methods).
  • Time invested in writing. For a busy person, it's difficult to keep a blog updated on a regular basis.

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In the next blog, Richard will discuss the best resources for those wanting to start blogging, and podcasting. Richard will also share his favorite sites.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.
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Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.