Business blogging: it’s not what you do, it’s who you become

I’ve been thinking about business blogging lately.

Partly because of a months-old post on Hugh McLeod’s blog about what comes after the Cluetrain, and a post he references on Marketing Hub.

But mostly because of a need in my present business venture to spend more time listening to real people in real jobs in real organizations that we think will buy/use/promote the products and services we’re creating.

Here’s the key piece from the Marketing Hub post:

“The value may not be the immediate impact of their [bloggers’] words on the market, but how the conversation changes the blogger. As Hugh says, it may be a mistake to focus on using blogs to sell things; it’s more about creating real engagement – where you are changed too. And the thing about good conversations is that more goes on than just an exchange of information. Something more energising takes place. I think that’s the deeper insight of the whole ‘markets are conversations’ meme.”

In other words, business blogging is not something you do, it’s something you are.

It’s not operational but ontological.

It’s not economical but epistemological.

And in the end, business blogging is not something you are, it’s something you become.

The traditional company is an organization defined by barriers. These people are in; these people are out. Employees know certain things; customers know other things; non-clients know other things: all separate domains of knowledge.

(And sometimes keeping those domains of knowledge separate is facilitated, even encouraged.)

Blogging is just one thing that can turn this beast inside out … making the surface area outside greater than the surface area inside. The more surface, the more touch. The more touch, the more influence.

And the more you touch, the more you are influenced.

Barriers are defined by what they keep out – and what they keep in. Business blogging is one way of turning an impermeable barrier into a permeable barrier – if a barrier at all.

What kind of company would result?

Perhaps one that ‘gets it.’ Perhaps one that is (not just understands) its market. Perhaps even one that doubles its sales.