Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Blogging makes it personal; can I hear Indian corporates puke?

You have the large corporate houses - bureaucratic and monstrous.

You have the family-run businesses - nimble, uncouth and feudal.

You have the dotcom leftovers - dime-a-dozen speeches, jargon, obfuscation and pretend-techies

Are these guys ever going to adopt blogging as a respectable tool for communication to their audience? I doubt it.

In India, the first two are the ones who come across the most. They are the Tatas, HCLs... And they maintain or wish to maintain a tight control over what messages they get to their audience. Tight control is the key word here.

The family-run business are the second. These are quick to smell money; but when the pot of gold is not immediately invisible at the end of the rainbow, they lose interest. Their feudal nature - with bosses, uncles, family retainers and sycophants - make them suspicious of anything that may get out of hand. The first-person nature of blogging will be too much to handle for them.

Another important factor for both of these groups - their websites are copy-written by brand management consultants, advertising copywriter.. The free-flowing nature of a blog will be anathema for them. Precisely the reason why I may be one of the first in India to get a few readers with a PR industry blog. Read about corporate blogs start personal online communciations here.

The last group, of course, are the funny ones. One can be sure they have not even heard about blogging. The ones who have, wold probably know it as a great way for teens to communicate with each other, and extoll it as the next great paradigm... :) Of course, talk to them in detail about blogs, and they would jump up, wave their hands furiously, proclaim complete devotion to the cause, and forget all about it by evening.

Much as I like to rant, I have to admit that in the low-tech communication scenario in India, I am still trying to gather the threads of a coherent theory of how blogging will help Indian corporates (and PR agencies). The networking part is the one I have understood, and easiest to communicate to the feudal overlords :) Messages to the audience - now that's where they will shrink from me like I have a VD.

The battle rages on....