Something very gratifying has started to happen. Several times in the past few weeks people have emailed me to say that they read Naked Conversations, then started a blog. I've received two in the past 24 hours and one of them makes me proud to have played a role in getting it going.
The Liverpool National Museums blog is a wonderful, friendly thing that shows you the breadth and humanity that blogging can communicate. A most recent post shows a musical instrument that merges a wind instrument with a prettily enameled toilet--not something you see everywhere. One down shows kids marching in a band and so on. You read a few of them and you get the idea that the Liverpool museum folk have a lot of things going that are interesting. My thanks to Billy Fallows, the museum editorial director who gave me the heads up and said our book helped him to get started.
I wish I could say the same about the new Yahoo Corporate Blog, which author Nicki Dugan wrote me about yesterday. She too, said NC played a role in shaping the blog. But I think, it must have played a very small role because the blog ignores much of the advice we give.
It is called Yodel, which seems appropriate. Yodelers play with echos, and this blog links only to other Yahoo blogs, at least so far. I went to the About page to see who Nicki was and found myself on the static website About page that told me all about Yahoo's founders. Nicki, writes in the voice of a corporate "we," rather than in the first person voice we so strongly advocate. Another site blogger has written that she is a senior corporate communications person and I have no trouble believing it. I don't have a problem with that, so long as she makes it transparent who she is and where she's coming from. There is also a video clip on the site, which didn't work for me--but i seem to be having trouble with tech ever where these days, so someone else needs to verify whether it works or not.
What Yodel needs to do is to join other people's conversations if it wants other people to join theirs. This blog is about corporate blogging as much as any blog site is. It also is about communities, a subject that should be very dear to Yahoo. So it surprised me that, in my dialog with Nicki, it became obvious that she does not read it. She explained she has been too busy starting Yodel.
Perhaps she'll catch this one. She should also check out the Liverpool Museum blog to see how it's done properly.
I've said this before. Large organizations will mostly start blogs in a lame and cautious fashion. People like me should not be overly harsh because some of these blogs will get better over time. Its just that Yahoo should know better and be better, if their desire to be the center of Internet communities is to use the miracle of conversations in a bidirectional sort of way that benefits the community.