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The Blogosphere
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Given the skepticism that greets me when I talk with many people about blogs, I was delighted to come across this item from Buzz Machine:
    Technorati, as many will report today, just passed 3 million blogs tracked (our equivalent of 300 million burgers served) at a rate of 15,000 new blogs per day. Technorati founder Dave Sifry reports that of these, 1.65 million are updated actively, though Mary Hodder emphasizes that that doesn't mean the rest are abandoned; blogs are used for many reasons (for example, for the once-a-year conference) and they still have information and value. At any rate, the conversations keep growing: Technorati is seeing more than 275,000 posts every day; three blogs are updated every second. The people are talking and the volume is growing.

People who are not acquainted with blogs don't get it. Why would so many people want to keep on-line diaries and snapshots of their cats? Moreover, who has time to read this stuff?

Every medium has its amateurs and its pros. Some people are exciting to read; others are a snooze. When blogs are good, they are very, very good, and when they are bad, they are awful.

Yesterday I read a post by Mena Trott, the former CEO of SixApart, about handing over the reins to an older guy. Outside the blogosphere, a news release on a transition of power would have been obscured by so many layers of corporate baffle-gab that you'd never know what was going on. Mena's post was different. It was personal. It came from the heart. She writes:
    In re-reading this post, I'm almost embarrassed by my sincerity. I feel strongly about this company and feel that the addition of Loic and his team, Andrew and Barak will only make us stronger. Sure, we'll make mistakes from time to time. And, we're bound to do things that sometimes our users will question. However, with the team that is in place (and the people who will be joining), we are certain that we are distributing our strengths to make our product stronger and our customers more loyal.

    So, for all you out there who've read up to this point, I hope that I have proven that it's possible for a CEO to stop being CEO but still be content in a company. Additionally, I hope that this weblog influences others in my position to share their experiences.

This exemplifies the honest communication The Cluetrain Manifesto called for. You want to bond with customers? Read Mena's post to find out how to do it.


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