"Web logs -- or blogs -- started as a way to talk about new technologies, vent about life and interact in a no-holds-barred forum. Since blogs became the next big thing, an increasing number of companies have come to see them as the next great public relations vehicle -- a way for executives to demonstrate their casual, interactive side.
But, of course, the executives do nothing of the sort. Their attempts at hip, guerrilla-style blogging are often pained -- and painful. "
Schwartz railed in a November entry titled "Stranger Than Fiction" against the have-someone-else-blog-for-me practice some executives use. "Who would've thought the world would come to this? Funny. My view, it's not a blogger that makes a blog effective. It's authenticity. Everything else is just along for the ride," he wrote, with a link to an eBay auction that ended in December that offered "Blogger for Hire -- Start or Improve Your Blog." It continued, "Hire a Successful Blogger for your Company." There were 30 bids, the winner grabbing the service for $3,350.
"I think it's going to be a while before we see actually that real honest transparency in public facing corporate Web logs," said Meg Hourihan, co-founder of Blogger, a software that allows people to create and host their own blogs. Google bought the company in 2003. "It would be nice if you could find a way to do it so it's not sanitized. Just sticking press releases on the front of the blog just doesn't cut it."