One of the things about business blogging that has a tendency to surprise corporate people who are used to a world of control, of polite and professional interaction, of carefully managed interaction, executive “handlers”, and planned messaging: bloggers can be a pretty merciless bunch.
Ask anyone who has been involved in the blogosphere for any length of time and you’ll hear stories about a few words taken out of context, a single sentence out of a 650 word essay that is misinterpreted and then takes on a life of its own.
Not that this sort of thing doesn’t happen with corporate communications anyway, but once your words are online, easily quoted and efficiently disseminated, they’re also quite easily misquoted.
If you’re getting ready to start blogging, make sure you’re also ready to have people say bad things about you outside of your sphere of influence.
This facet of business blogging isn’t always apparent because most of the business blog community itself has a good professional ethic and while they’ll disagree with corporate positions, they tend not to take potshots at the bloggers.
But cast your net more widely and you’ll find that the bloggers outside the mainstream or the bloggers that don’t consider themselves “business” bloggers are happy to take potshots, often in your own comment stream, but just as often on their own weblogs where the best you can do is add your own comment in response to what they say or, perhaps, to just ignore it.
However it happens, and whatever response you decide to utilize, do recognize that the more your company becomes visible online, the more you’ll find that you’re written about — for better and worse — online too.
And my advice? Roll with it. Focus on the positive. Write good content and stay on message, on your message.