Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Robert May: Businesses and Blogging

Robert May of Business Pundit provides this exclusive article for Blog Core Values readers. (He is going to post it on his own site, too.)



Everyone is talking about businesses and blogs.

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t think that blogging can ever be a company’s competitive advantage.

It’s like a website. You have to have one because everyone else does.

It may make a small difference if yours is better than everyone else’s, but for non-web-based products, no one makes purchasing decisions based on your website. I drive a Nissan Frontier. I’ve never even been to Nissan’s website.

So why blog at all? Why waste the time and effort?

Well, I view blogging the way I view planning.

Companies need a strategic plan, but it really doesn’t matter whether or not they follow it. Markets and competitors can go in totally unexpected directions and when that happens you sometimes have to drop your plan completely in order to compete and survive.

So why plan? Because it forces you to think about the future. By doing so, it better prepares you for that day when you need to chuck your plan out the window.

So why is blogging important for a business?

It forces you to clarify your ideas. You can’t write clearly if you don’t think clearly. And believe me, many executives don’t think clearly. It is actually easier to rise to the executive level if you throw in a little jibberish now and then.

But you can’t put jibberish on your blog or someone will call it “bullshit.”

That’s the nature of blogging. You can’t hide. Your thoughts are out in the open for all to see. Your customers, competitors, co-workers, they all know what you think. But as difficult as that is sometimes, in the long run it’s good for you.

It forces you to be honest. It forces you to face reality. It forces you to live up to your obligations. And those are three traits that will help make your company successful.


BIO of Robert May:

Who is Businesspundit?

Who Am I?

I was born in 1976, so you can figure out how old I am and I don’t have to update this each year. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Kentucky. My primary background is in digital design (I did FPGAs, for those of you to whom that means something) for military avionics.

I left that life to become the COO of a small business partnership where my first job was getting a new franchise up and running. I left that in Jan. 2005 and sold my stake in the venture.

Since then I’ve been teaching part-time in the College of Business at the University of Louisville. I’ve also done a handful of consulting projects. I’m currently working on a startup that has to do with distributed artificial intelligence software.

On a more personal note, I have been married since 2000. My wife is an auditor and a CPA. I am a huge ParrotHead, but I do occasionally listen to other types of music.

I like to run and play basketball, and of course blog. I’m a compulsive reader and I don’t know why. It’s just that any time I see a non-fiction book on an interesting subject, I can’t stop wondering what it says inside. I’m a member of MENSA, but if you’ve ever been to a meeting then that probably won’t impress you.

Common Questions I Am Asked

Can I get your feedback on my business idea/plan?

Sure, if I have time. Drop me an email and I’ll let you know.

Are you interested in a job?

If it’s a short-term project, probably. If it’s a long-term position, well I would be very very picky.

Will you review my book?

It depends. I will if I have time. But, if I don’t like I’ll either say so on the blog, or else I’ll just forget to post about it.

Why do you do this?

I do this because it is an outlet for me. I am a business news junkie, always praising or criticizing the strategies of various companies.

Most people I know in my personal life don’t enjoy discussing this stuff, so I put it here and discuss it with my readers. This is also a great way for me to learn. I am constantly exposed to new ideas and my own thoughts are challenged and solidified through the process of writing them down.

Another nice thing about doing this is that it helps me keep track of articles and links that I like, and gives me a way to organize and search them easily.

Will you link to my blog?

Maybe. Send me a link. I like email. If I like it I will, otherwise I’ll check it out for awhile and either lose interest or link to you eventually.

What the heck is the Carnival of the Capitalists that you keep posting about?

It is a weekly roundup of the best business and economics posts in the blogosphere each week. Jay Solo and I came up with the idea a while back because there were so many good business blogs we couldn’t read them all and sometimes missed good posts. Jay maintains the Carnival of the Capitalists homepage.

What the heck is the Business Blog Book Tour?

Exactly what it sounds like.

CONTACT: rob [AT] business pundit [DOT, don't forget the DOT] com

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