Blogs technology oriented?
Sami Suomalainen writes in the comments of a previous entry: "Most executives don't even know what a blog is. In Finland, which is seemingly technology oriented and modern, this is simply shocking."
I am not surprised or shocked. I don't see blogs as technology. Blogs are a medium. At some very deep level, books are a technology, too, but you don't really perceive them as such. You buy books because the content interests you, not because they happen to be using the latest in printing technology. You watch television because the program draws your attention; not because it happens to have a HDTV screen (after the first few minutes of technolust, anyway).
I've been saying this for a long time, but the Finnish blogosphere is mostly not very interesting. There are good writers, but quite few of them have really anything to say. Even fewer say things that are original, and not just translations of things from the English blogosphere. Most of them write in English, even. Personally, I think the craft bloggers and taxi driver blogs are the most interesting and important thing in the Finnish blogosphere right now...
Yes, I agree with Sami that we're pretty badly behind of USA in business blogging. Partly because of the media infatuation with the word "verkkopäiväkirja", partly because Finland is missing the same kind of "hey, I'm here, listen to my ideas, I want to make a million with them" -culture that is so pervasive in the USA (which is probably good), and partly because things are already pretty well. Blogs for businesses are networking, self-promotion, public relations and discussion all rolled in one, topped with a personal touch. That requires pretty special people to handle; versatile people who actually like to speak and be heard by completely unknown people. (Which, traditionally, in Finland is considered to be a bad thing - just watch the reaction if you go an talk to anyone you don't know in a tram in Helsinki.)
I completely agree that companies are missing out on something big if they don't participate in the blogosphere. But on the other hand, I'm confident that evolution will weed out the weak. The companies that pick up on blogging (both as followers and authors) will have a competitive edge over those who don't. And some people will make money teaching them how to blog. Some people will attempt to create a hype and a bubble so that they can cash in quickly (lots of signs for a new bubble are already in the air). Some people will do the same, but fail to cash in...
But shocked? No... Disillusioned, if anything.
Finland is a small country with a big internal resistance to change. Our celebrities are minor, our worries minuscule, and you can get on the front page of all newspapers by shooting someone. It's a safe country to be, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that we are the most agile and forward-thinking nation in the world. Buying lots of cell phones does not a trend make.
With stability comes resistance.
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