Corporations, tv producers, and blogs
February 15th, 2006

an article in the recent Economist shows how corporations and consulting firms need to be using blogs to their advantage if they aren’t already. Among other stories, the article tells about Diebold’s unfortunate acquisition of Global Election Systems, a company making electronic voting machines, which went way out of fashion when computer scientists and voting-rights activities pointed out the dangerous flaws in their proposed system:

Evolve24, a consultancy which analyses corporate reputations and watches online trends closely, has used its blog-sniffing software to find out what was available on the internet before Diebold bought GES. It discovered that not only were a couple of voting-rights activists calling attention to the machines’ drawbacks on their blogs well before the acquisition, but also that research papers highlighting the problems were available on technical websites. Diebold did traditional forms of due diligence before buying GES, such as verifying its financial health. But by ignoring the blogosphere, it failed to spot some crucial risks.

And of course, some are actively using blogs to reap success and not just avoid failure. Apparently, the producers of the show ‘Lost’ maintain a blog conversation with fans and I bet they also are checking the many independent fan sites, which often contain detailed hypotheses of what might be going on and where the plot if going. If done right, as it looks like it has been, the producers can really be spoon-feeding the audience and still maintaining the right amount of mystery.

Producer Carlton Cuse was quoted saying, “We feel like we should reward viewers by answering some of their questions, but ultimately the viewer doesn’t want the biggest questions answered right away. They enjoy the process of speculation.”

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