BAIA is continuing to deliver a vibrant series of business events, where eloquent speakers and stimulating attendees gather enthusiastically, providing a fertile ground for ongoing discussions, partnerships and in-depth development of the featured topics.
The panel, at “Blogs & Marketing” was composed of four experts: Mauro Lupi, of Ad Maiora, Marissa Levinson of Six Apart (also sponsor), Mary Trigiani of Spada, Inc, and Peter Thoeny, of StructuredWikis. Each of them engaged the audience from different angles, offering a synergic, harmonious all-around presentation.
In a nutshell, blogs (Web logs), are on-line journals. They can be used whenever individuals wish to contribute their thoughts to a forum about a matter relevant to their community.
I see blogs as a natural evolution of Internet communication, and an even deeper “democratization” of the Internet, already a platform which – despite the yet unfilled gaps of the digital divide and occasional political censorships – has opened the reign of knowledge and access to information to masses of people around the planet.
In the business world, blogs demystify the top-down, formal approach from corporate to consumer; as Mary Trigiani of Spada emphasized, the target is perceived no longer as a passive “audience” but rather as active “stakeholders”.
As Six Apart pointed out, blogs also ensure inclusiveness, overcoming glitches such as accidentally dropping an e-mail address from a large distribution list.
Blogs leverage on current technology, (visit Six Apart website for a comprehensive suite of tools), to satisfy the ancestral human need to voice one’s opinions, bringing along the corollary right to freedom of expression. We once drew signs on the walls of a cave, now we post via a mouse click; the urge to communicate hasn’t changed. Blogs enable members of a society to discuss, interactively, topics of interest, whether from a personal or business standpoint.
But beyond the confines of a balance sheet, there are compelling reasons to embrace blogs and to understand their scope. Often in Silicon Valley we have a thirst for innovation which resembles pure play! However, many innovations are born of, or will serve, the broader, higher, longer-range goal of improving human life and of providing solutions to impending needs.
This was the poignant case in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina, when – as Six Apart highlighted – blogging was often the only way for reporters to post information on the status of areas hit by the catastrophe, and to relay vital updates to dispersed families, friends and rescuers.
A critical need for first responders after major disasters strike is to maintain real-time communication across rescue teams and with the “outside” world, so that relief efforts can be optimized to save as many lives as possible.
So blogs can play a vital role, just like wireless mesh networks and other tools that prevent or mitigate isolation of the afflicted population. There exist not-just-mundane reasons to welcome the explosive growth of blogs (doubling
each month every six months as quoted by Mauro Lupi), also because of how they can serve our communities.