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The lesson from Google’s latest blog controversy

Google is in hot water this week because an employee voiced a political opinion on a corporate blog.

Obviously, it’s important for companies to have policies about the scope of their blog postings. But it would be a mistake to think that the lesson here is that all corporate blogs should have a Big Brother corporate reviewer who vets every piece of content before posting.

What makes blogging and other Web 2.0 strategies so engaging is that it democratizes communication. It means that you can communicate quickly and engage your customers directly. And it may mean that you get yourself into some sticky situations.

While Google may have wanted to avoid this controversy (although, maybe not…it is being covered widely in the press and they are getting lots of publicity), the fact is that the blog posting did exactly what it was supposed to do: It engaged the audience. People were able to respond to the post and Google clarified its position. That’s a conversation and that’s good.

It may be messier than the old way of communicating with customers, but we might as well get used to it. We’ll be seeing more and more of it. (Full disclosure: My brother works for Google, although I haven’t talked to him about this particular case.) ―John Kovacevich, VP, marketing services

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July 5, 2007 - Posted by | Content Strategy, In the News, John Kovacevich, Web Content

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