Where do your blogging loyalties lie?

16 December 2004

Poynter Online reports that LeMonde has set up a blogging community for their subscribers. This is a very bright move, and they clearly see some of the benefits I talked about in my last post (although there is a big difference between creating blogging communities designed for employees and those designed for customers).

I do wonder about this strategy, though. Whilst it is a nice, non-monetary point of differentiation for what is essential a low-cost purchase, two things immediately strike me:

  1. What is the impact on the LeMonde brand if content on users’ blogs is left to stagnate, or attracts unwanted controversy?
  2. As other brands experiment with similar blogging communities, will consumers be forced to choose where their “community” loyalties lie? For example, I might choose to be part of a Guardian rather than a Telegraph blogging community, but if Sony were to then create a blog community, I might rather be part of that. So what happens to my Guardian blog – are we going to see “blog portability” in the same vein as mobile phone numbers? Using RSS, could I post to multiple community blogs at the same time (and increase my readership)?

I don’t think anyone can really know the answers at this early stage, but it does further demonstrate to me why corporate blogging communities make sense. As a consumer I am loyal to many brands in many sectors (and at the same time loyal to none), but as an employee I am (in theory) loyal to just the one.

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