Posted by Tom Foremski - September 1, 2006
My post yesterday about my former boss at the Financial Times, Paul Abrahams, and his confessed difficulty in "getting" blogs caused a bit of stir. Mr Abrahams is a very senior figure in the PR world, he runs Waggener Edstrom's European headquarters and is one of Microsoft's strategic consultants.
Frank Shaw, a senior colleague of Paul Abrahams, and a noted blogger with his Glass House blog jumped into the fray very quickly, leaving comments on SVW, and other places, including his own blog. [This is exactly what you do in reaction to any potentially unfavorable publicity, (even if you are in the middle of moving house and family). It is a good case study.]
This follows hot on the heels of Colin Farrington’s shock declaration that he was not “that keen” on blogs. He is director general of the CIPR, the UK’s major PR support organisation and clearly does not have his finger on the pulse. His comments sent shockwaves among leading PR bloggers. Here is an extract:
“I’m not that keen on ‘blogs’.
“But then I wasn’t keen on DVDs, mobile phones, Ipods and Blackberries until they suddenly became an essential part of business and social life. I guess there’s a special marketing category for middle aged male professional ‘catchers-up’.
All very interesting stuff. I see this all as part of how things move forward, this is how progress is made. The pushbacks are all part of the process to achieve understanding.
I would sometimes tell people that blogging is the next big thing, and they would laugh. I say, don't confuse the content of many blogs with blogging. Blogging is the most visible part of a two-way media technology.
Internet 1.0 allowed us to publish to anything with a browser, now, with Internet 2.0, anything with a browser can publish back. It is a two-way Internet now, it is the Internet on steroids.
But as with all important concepts/ideas, the first stage is laughter and derision; the second stage is grudging acceptance; and the third is that it all becomes damn obvious.
We are all at different stages when it comes to blogging. But what I do know, is that if you have been blogging for any amount of time, and involved in the blogosphere, leaving comments, etc, then you and I have an understanding, and we are at the third stage.
And the beauty of all of this, is that there is no need to argue with Mr Abrahams, or others about the value of blogs and blogging, and the powerful nature of these media technologies. Because we can see a little bit into the future and we know what the future will bring. I know Mr Shaw at Waggener knows the future, and I know that Paul Abrahams will know it too.
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Please also see Robert Scoble, the former MSFT champion blogger:
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Speaking of good and bad PR, did you see Frank Shaw’s blog? He runs the Microsoft account for Waggener Edstrom and he had to clean up a mess by another PR guy in the UK who said “I don’t get blogs.” If a PR person said that to me I’d say “I don’t get why you’re still employed.”
It seems to me that if you don’t understand something you should work hard to understand it.