February 28, 2006
Liz published this at 10:36 am
PART 1 IN A SERIES
Personal Computers as Tools
When personal computers first became standardized and affordable, and software for using them was readily available, it wasn’t that long before they were sitting in every office. The ability to push rote tasks down to the lowest level has always been a strength of an effective business. Taking advantage of computers to do that–calculate spreadsheets, retype and revise documents, generate mailing lists–was an immediate no brainer for business folks focused on productivity. It wasn’t long before Information Management and IT became terms, then whole departments.
Personal computers changed how we work. They changed how we organized information, how we stored it, and share it, and even how we thought about it. Businesses–some more quickly than others–recognized that the computer was a tool of great value.
In American K-12 Schools
Schools, on the other hand, didn’t see the computer as a tool. They saw it as a subject, a class called Computer. Its highest honor was the day it replaced the class in touch typing. Even now in some prestigious New England high schools, the college prep strand kids still only officially see computers in the mandatory class called, “Computer Applications.”
It’s worth saying again. Schools don’t see computers as tools–like pencils and paper and textbooks or desks. Granted this a is gross generalization, but as an entity, Amercian K-12 schools can’t see past the contraption to take full advantage of its uses. The problem is not one of resources; it’s one of not enough folks feeling the need for them.
Blogs as Tools
Now companies and the mass media are acting like schools did. They see the physical blog and not the uses for it. They stop at the idea of what they think a blog is. Just as the school who sees computers as another subject, companies often see the contraption–blogs as another form of website, possibly as a way to do viral marketing.
We’re all missing that blogs are technology too.
The beauty of blogs is they are a flexible tool. The technology allows them to be that website and so much more–intranet, team project site, email replacement, advertising platform, billboard, company picnic, conduit to ideas, real connection to customers.
What Every Company and School Should Know
What most non-bloggers should know is that the number of both public and private blogs will continue to grow. They will outnumber websites based solely the fact that the expertise required to run a blog makes it inevitable. Small businesses start blogs because they already know that blogs are more flexible–can do more things, more easily, more quickly, and for much lower start up costs.
We owe it to our readers and our customers to to let them know that a blog isn’t just a poor person’s website.
If you want to add value to a business relationship, share that information with someone who needs it.
Let’s talk about how many ways blogs can be used. What do you see when you look at your blog as a tool?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Part 2–Blogs: The New Black in Corporate Communication
Business, Blogs, and Niche-Brand Marketing
Chicago Goes Wi-Fi . . . What Does that Mean to Business?
Marketing Strategy ala Mickey Mouse