05:06 AM

Biz loves Web 2.0, hates blogs

(Via Putting People First: McKinsey has a new report that finds businesses are embracing web services, social networking and all means of having computers connect them with their customers. But they don't like blogs.

The rising popularity of user-driven online services, including MySpace, Wikipedia, and YouTube, has drawn attention to a group of technological developments known as Web 2.0. These technologies, which rely on user collaboration, include Web services, peer-to-peer networking, blogs, podcasts, and online social networks.

Respondents to a recent McKinsey survey show widespread but careful interest in this trend.1 Expressing satisfaction with their Internet investments so far, they say that Web 2.0 technologies are strategic and that they plan to increase these investments. But companies aren’t necessarily relying on the best-known Web 2.0 trends, such as blogs; instead, they place the greatest importance on technologies that enable automation and networking.

At BusinessWeek, Bruce Nussbaum says blogs are in the control of their authors, not the executive suite or the PR department. And PR managers (and CEOs) don't like that
very much.

I will venture to suggest that most managers are afraid of blogs. Very few blog themselves and when they do, it runs through the marketing or PR departments. Managers in general still worry about loss of control with blogs. Letting their employees and consumers into the conversatohn and allowing them their say frightens them.

That's a huge mistake. Check out Jeff Jarvis' post about Dell. He and Dell got into quite a pushing match some time about about his terrible experience with a Dell laptop. He triggered a major rehaul at Dell that included building blogs and consumer conversation sites that helped the company remake itself and its reputation.

The great challenge to companies these days is to learn how to let consumers in, how to open a conversation with them that is honest and real. It looks like lots of managers have yet to get that signal. Wait until they get their own Dell Hell.