In my opinion, blogging originally began because people needed a channel to communicate things they were passionate about. They went to the internet and wrote short, choppy sentences that quickly conveyed their point of view. Blogging proved to be an effective channel, so corporations hurried to adopt the channel. Unfortunately in their haste to adopt the channel, they forgot to think about their own passion and what was important to their customers. As a result, corporate blogs became a collection of product pitches and whitepapers that did not have the same personal opinion or thought leadership as the originals.
So with that being said, what do I think? Blogs should be an extension of the person and what influences them on a daily basis. Blogs should be part of a larger information strategy. I give a lot of credit to blogs like Nuts About Southwest, Mashable, and Sayfie Review. In each example the editor not only published their own views and opinions, but they focused on syndicating content from other sources.
Each site has become a central destination for information relevant to its target audience. In one case the site shows tagged images from Flickr, in another case the site displayed RSS feeds from local newspapers. In all cases the information spoke to the audience and became an extension of an individual or a brand.
The sites remind me of advice I was given when I first got into business – “Challenge the norm, be a thought leader, remember that it’s all about the customer.”