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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Loose lips sink ships

I was at a conference where Six Apart's Loic Le Meur was talking about corporate blogging. He made a great speech (watch it here, along with the others from the day). The female (and some of the male) members of the audience swooned at his mix of Gallic speech delivery and barely-contained musculature.

But there were a statement that almost made me spit out my popcorn, jump out of my seat and shout 'Are you INSANE?' (Which, of course, I didn't. But I thought about it.)

Talking about posting to a corporate blog, he said: 'If you say something wrong, correct it. It's fine.'

It's just this kind of cowboy attitude that's going to rip the blogosphere - and potentially the real-bloody-worldosphere - apart. What happens when said employee unwittingly breaks the law? What if a seemingly innocent comment is construed as libel? What if some financials are disclosed during a pre-announcement quiet period?

What could be done to save the company then? It would be too late. The damage to reputation has been done. Sales lost. Heads roll. If you say something wrong, it's not fine. It's far from fine.

Corporate blogging must be a balance of responsible journalism and responsible marketing. In your frenzy to get people blogging, Loic, it's important not to be shortsighted. The blog is a powerful tool. Try not to get carried away and start promoting recklessness.

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