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Hi, I'm a lurker who's been reading for quite a while - an Australian planner currently working in Paris (please come do a breaktfast here...).

Initial thoughts:

I find 'blur' really really interesting, and think it would be a unique story to tell, but suspect the second option would be more appealing to the broader audience there. That said, why not shift the attention away from consumers for a while in that forum...

Regarding the second option, I think it's a great point. Totally agree re media neutral not meaning all channels are equal. Question from the audience in advance: could/should ALL brands have a blog, theoretically? Just wondering out loud, after too little sleep - does every brand want to have real conversations with the consumer, or be open? Sounds stupid I know - just being the (hungover) devils advocate to help the thinking along...

I think thats good stuff.

The thing that interests me is how blogging is forcing companies to become more open and honest; and making them think about promoting their business without sales talk.

Faris spoke about the intelligent/stealth consumers, and I think this is a really important thing for businesses, both in and outside of blogging.

thanks for this. I'm thinking I might do a little bit on each thing. And I'm going to come up with some more things tomorrow. I like the 'should everyone have a blog?' question.

you're both very generous to chip in.

Russell -

Echoing everyone else...thanks. Very relevant. "whatever that 1.0 and 2.0 means" ... I was thinking today, how the heck are we only at 2.0? Seems crazy to me. I was also thinking about what 3.0 will look like. What do you think? I'm of the mind that 2.0 starts to close the gap between social identities and brands, and 3.0 will involve communities and brands that are fully invested in one another, sort of like a Venn diagram that overlaps completely.

Also, on a related point: I'd been waiting a long time to have a blog on something. I think I may have my personal strategy set... And this post helps to "verify" my new blog's existence. So, thanks for that too.

Russell, I was wondering if the two thoughts were options but your own comment suggests they aren't.

I think the second thought is particularly powerful and can/should stand on its own. Having struggled through a few blogs of my own I know exactly what that means. And it's wonderful to think a brand might go through the same process.

I'd like to add though, that in the case of brands, blogs won't force them to learn anything new; they will just have to unlearn a few things. A genuine, unpretentious voice is inside all of us - even companies and brands. The first step is to stop being self-conscious and worried and be ourselves.

There's this quote that I am reminded of - "Sport doesn't build character, it reveals it." Post reading your note, I can't help but think it's the same with blogs.

There is the issue now that companies/brands that wait too long to blog will be seen as late to the game, and given the image of trying to cash in instead of being genuinely forward looking.

moving from a personal account of becoming a consumer and producer of media/content to giving something of a reality check to the hype around blogs [being a good indicator that a brand strategy is on tack] of media seems a good place to start. i'd be tempted to go further on that thought - web2.0 as an 'ideology'. there's a lot of blind faith out there, a lot of zealots and there's not always a good rationale for undertaking 'conversational marketing' other than not to miss out [as Rob says, this is detrimental]. and if I were in the audience I'd love to hear you talk about the nitty gritty of making great work... how it comes about, what the sparks were, the insight, whatever... tell stories.

Actually, a great example of this is W+K London. They actually talk about pitching, about NOT winning; and this is something i've never seen from a big agency.

It shows a human side to a media company, and this makes them feel more accesible. It costs them looking like a 'perfect' machine (as media co's like to portray themselves), but it makes them seem much more in touch with the end consumer and newer media (like Web 2.0 (though I HATE that term)).

I agree with Rob's comment above about W+K London' blog.
You might want to talk a little about the main differences between a blog and a website. Although it seems obvious, for brands it might be difficult to have the human side a blog requires (I think)to not seem false ou superficial.

Kirsty makes a great point about whether or not brands should have blogs. Whilst I think almost every individual on the planet could squeeze together some kind of blog out of what they do or don't think or do on a regular basis.

But are brands the same? I suppose that 'good' brands do have things to say and converse with us about, but 'bad' ones, ones that have been fabricated out of product lies and mistruths find it much more difficult.

I also think that the very simple question of 'what is a blog? (vs a website)' is a really big one. I've had discussions with a few clients recently about how much blog functionality you can strip out before you lose the essence of what a blog is.

Ultimately if you end up with a series of bits of content sorted reverse chronologically is that a blog? Apple seem to think so: http://www.mac.com/blog/

Personally I think the notion of blur is really really interesting. The blur between, work and home, product and brand, private and public, individual and company, audience and publisher, etc. etc. etc. I think real blogs tend to 'get' the blur, whereas most corporate ones don't (with the few notable exceptions that always get cited: GM, Scoble, Sun).

Everyone hates a brand values chart. So perhaps you'll forgive an example of a values statement that actually worked. When PlayStation 2 launched in 2000, it defined its values as: Intelligent, Disruptive, Unconfortable, Omnipotent. It works because it's vivid: not everyone's cup of tea but something that you could build a distinct brand around.

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