Web logging has been flagged as a new era in communications for the channel. Commonly known as blogging, the practice involves posting text, video, audio and images onto a public or private website for people to view and comment on. The technology was the topic of an industry seminar held in Sydney last week.
According to attendees, blogging and its variants are a way to grow communication levels between vendors, partners and end-users.
"Blogs by their very nature are two-way communication tools," panel member and IDG Communications deputy managing director, Mark Jones, said. "At their core is the idea that people share knowledge via them and consequently they have really taken off in the IT industry."
Panel member and Microsoft Australia group manager, Frank Arrigo, said blogging had become a lynch-pin in the software giant's approach to working with developer partners.
"My business blog evolved out of frustration I had over not being able to get messages out to developers," he said. "In the past we communicated with direct and electronic mail, events, and going to user groups, but the reach wasn't there.
"Being able to post information on a website and have people subscribe to it allows me to finally reach developers and have conversations."
Recently, Microsoft launched a formal blog, Channel9, which featured video footage of staff discussing progress on new product and projects. The blog was designed to promote trust between itself and developers, Arrigo said. Blogging also created a sense of community amongst developers in which communication could take place independently of Microsoft, he said.
"The connection we have is personal as the blogs are not being written by a marketing or PR company," he said. "It's an unfiltered view of what's happening in the community and that builds an element of trust which my readership value." On top of improving relationships between vendors and their channel partners, blogs could help partner-to-partner and partner-to-customer communications, Arrigo said.
"A reseller can start a conversation with other resellers by posting comments about their own experiences," he said. "Blogs can also give you the ability to have a conversation with your customer."
Arrigo said the technology was also viable as a cost-effective knowledge management platform, adding his team now used blogging internally to share information.
"That information is indexable, searchable and findable," he said. "That way, when a person leaves an organisation, their knowledge doesn't go with them."
- IDG publishes ARN.