I arrived at BlogOut 2007 late due to work and the fact that I thought that Market Street was a very short street, and happily parked at one end, not realising it was broken into two separate streets with the same name. Murphy’s Law required that I park, of course, at the wrong end, and it was only with the kind directions of Melvin Yuan that I managed to find my way to the Geek Terminal.
The Geek Terminal was packed with entrepreneurial bloggers like Bernard Leong, Web 2.0 developers like Uzyn, Herry and Choon Keat, fellow Media Socialists Kevin Lim, Ben Koe, Preetam, Walter.
I also caught up with geek girls Priscilla and Divya (also a fellow WebSG author, along with Lucian who was busy taking photographs). I spoke briefly with James Seng and also caught up with Veron who is in very hot demand as a web designer.
After a general panel discussion moderated by Walter, with guest stars Joe Augustin (DJ) and Jennifer Lewis (Editor of Stomp) also taking to the mic, a variety of topics were addressed at various tables. I chose to sit in for the discussion on Corporate Blogging instead of Second Life.
The perspectives offered initially were from a startup’s point of view based on members’ experiences. I almost wanted to talk about corporate Government blogs, but realised it was not going to be a very cool topic, so I just listened instead. The main question we agreed on, is WHY do you want to start a blog? While you don’t need to have many objectives, you should have at least one, and stay true to it.
We also agreed that people who start corporate blogs just for the sake of ‘getting rich/more sales’ may not get what they’re looking for. In many cases, the benefits of corporate blogging are intangible. They may or may not lead to more sales. In one case, a corporate blog’s frankness led to a top employee joining that company instead of a better-paying job in another company that didn’t have such a blog.
We discussed having internal blogs as a ‘safer’ alternative, if unsure of the market’s reaction. However, internal blogs have different purposes from public blogs. The focus for the former is more on knowledge sharing, whereas the latter is very much a public relations effort in addition to sharing information. Also, employees must be driven to blog, and be empowered. In many corporations, these are stumbling blocks.
Personalities behind blogs are important. Popular corporate bloggers may take their readership with them when they leave the company. Some said they’d feel different if their favourite blogger was no longer writing. CEOs were mentioned as being potential bloggers as they had the overall vision of the company in mind. However, a Microsoft rep shared that many of their staff in different departments were contributing to blogs (as any Scoble fan would know).
In the middle of the discussions, I caught up with Brennan. Together with him, Kevin, Preetam and Julian Wong, we had drinks after the party ended. I then had my own Second Life discussion with fellow Second Lifers Jacky Peng (former academic) and Aileen Sim (pioneer of the virtual credit card company). Jacky brought up the concept of interior design/architecture firms using Second Life, which I also thought of previously. We were both wondering why it hasn’t been taken up in a big way.
It was nice to finally meet The Digital Movement folks (some a second time) such as Estee, Ming Yeow, Chern Jie, and Renzhi.
View the rest of my BlogOut 2007 photos while I recover from post-celebration stupor. Questions will be asked in the aftermath:
- Will Divya, Mac advocate, really auction off the copy of Windows Vista she won, like she said she would?
- Will Aileen buy an Xbox 360 to go with the game she won?
- Will Microsoft buy Yahoo! or are they just happy with funding more events such as these? (so we hope)