No real need to go into Wright - I met him first at the first NewCommunications Forum, and feel bad about that one phone call to immigration. Um, kidding about la immigra, in case you were wondering.
First thought is that if the rest of the book is as well-done as the first chapter, Wright might just have a winner on his hand. While it is a little over the top - no, blogs aren't curing cancer, and the mainstream media still has great influence with a good portion of the general public - well, since I wrote a sidebar for the book, I know it's not going to be a pollyannaish, sunshine book that will serve absolutely, positively no good for any corporation looking to get into blogging. Wright presents the pros and the cons, which are desperately needed when it comes to blogging and marketing.
The chapter begins with a cute story about a business looking into blogging, and Wright goes into an analogy about being a fly on the wall of your customers:
Now imagine that you could use this up-to-the-minute information to determine what your customers want, how they want it, what they will ultimately buy, and what they’re willing to pay for it. This is the power of the blog.Well, those that read this blog know that I do not necessarily agree with that. Blogs are important to track, but it's the conversation that matters, no matter where it takes place: online, in a message board, on a blog, in the media, on sites like ePinions and PlanetFeedback. No customer should be more important than any other customer - sorry Jarvis/Dell is no exception - but all customers should be heard. Blogs are not a holy grail, but another avenue for people to write, to express, and, yes, to bitch.
Granted, this book is a primer for newbies. It's not going to bowl away people that have been blogging for any amount of time, but it will help marketing departments that are thinking of tipping their toes into the blogosphere some food for thought.
And, Wright, blogs are not effectively a form of free advertising - it's just pure public relations. It's PR's to lose, and if we don't step up and make sure we own corporate blogging, it will become marketing pabulum.