Blogging is a high latency hivemind uplink.

I’m a huge fan of the Elliot.org newsletter. In the latest issue two links caught my attention:

The first one struck close to home because of some stuff that I am working on at the moment. I faced an ethical dilema this week when I discovered that the travel industry routinely overcharges the customer (and then refunds money) because of the challenges of aggregating the products of multiple vendors into a single travel package.

While this isn’t quite the same issue as what is described on the Elliot.org article, it does underscore the need for full disclosure.

The second article was just interesting in how bloggers start to have an impact because service providers are starting to realise that they can impact the bottom line. The interesting thing about it is how peoples experiences propogate around the blogosphere and how it can actually start to change peoples perceptions who are not bloggers themselves, and perhaps not even connected to the blogosphere at all.

I’m starting to think that what we are seeing in blogging is a first generation hivemind uplink (albiet a high latency one – new information doesn’t always get good absorbsion in a small period of time).

The blogosphere is more than just a loud speaker where a message is broadcast and quickly forgotten. Blog posts are largely durable (sure there is some information loss but it is a slow leak) which means that the message can actually spread further and affect a lot more people. If those people have similar experiences then they echo the post and you get a bit of an echo chamber effect.

Business is going to need to start recognising this because if they let the negative noise level around their company build up in the blogosphere it may be hard to recover. If that is true, how does a company combat the negative noise in the blogosphere? Do you need to have 1000s of bloggers like Microsoft?

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