On the importance of blogs
Good article from Business 2.0 on why blogs will become increasingly more important in the business world. Rather than a static book (or in complement with a static book), blogs allow dynamic, real-time information flow. Currently blogs, like this one, tend to be outward-facing to the general public. I, as a blog author, hope that you continue to read my blog because you like my opinions (or don't like them, but continue to read to see what I'll say next). Do I do this because I make money from it? Not at all. I like to share my opinions and provide information sources about things that you may not have found or thought about. Additionally, there is the benefit of writing daily -- ask any English teacher, the best way to improve writing (like anything else) is to practice, practice, practice.
Can you make money from blogging? Sure, check out Gizmodo and look at all the ads. The author of Gizmodo, Peter Rojas, was one of the pioneers of blogging and he gets ridiculous numbers of viewers per day. In fact, the publisher of Gizmodo, Nick Denton, is working on a new service called Kinja that will aggregate blogs under topics and allow folks to rate blogs they visit (much akin to the book rating system on Amazon.com -- in fact, doesn't it seem like Amazon could implement customer blog rating tomorrow?).
I like to think of the strategic implications of blogs for companies. Think of the HR department of a company publishing a daily blog of relevant HR information for people looking to get a job with that company on the Internet. Take the thought a step further, and have a HR blog on the intranet that posts updates to HR processes, open enrollment dates, health care changes, etc. Imagine if every department in the company had an internal and (maybe) even an externally-facing blog. Would this enable employees in a company to know what other departments are doing? You bet! Would it do more than that? I guarantee it! And the thing is that companies have servers with capacity to run blog software -- yes, there is free, open-source blog software. Free seems like an extremely low cost of entry for something that could drastically improve business.
UPDATE 2/25/04: My sincere apologies to Peter Rojas at Gizmodo for mixing up his and Nick Denton's roles with the blog. I read Gizmodo every day and see his name on the site every day, but somehow messed the roles. Once again, my apologies.