David Weinberger, a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center, is telling the crowd at the BlogOn social media summit what blogs are not. They're not inherently journalism, he points out, but there is an intersection between the blogosphere and the "journosphere," as he calls it.
The way to find that intersection, if you're a company looking to start a blog, involves four steps:
1. Listen. See what's being said about your company already.
2. Audit. See what people in your company are blogging about, and what blogs they read.
3. Engage. Create a plan to engage your customers.
4. Give up. Plan to give up control.
Even if a company follows that plan, Weinberger expects most companies to make two mistakes:
1. Thinking they know more than their customers.
2. Insisting on being incredibly boring.
"Blogging looks like a risk they don't have to take. In that case, they should just not take it," he said. "Entering the conversation as a fallible human being raises the possibility of connecting with a market in new and deep ways."