Live from Corporate Blogging Summit

I spoke this morning at the second European Corporate Blogging Summit at the Danubius Hotel in London. I’ll try to share my slides soon, but for now I’m listening to my fellow speakers. I’m here with Karl Roche.

Interesting to note that only a couple of attendees at the summit admit to having personal or corporate blogs either internally or externally… so it seems that a lot of people are here to learn, which is great.

Photo by Robin Hamman

Stream-of-consciousness follows…

Robin Hamman, BBC Blog Network
Robin was the chairman for the first part of the morning and kicked things off with a discussion about the evolution of online communities. Some excellent points about how sites like Flickr and Twitter can be used… I didn’t know that some BBC folk are Twittering around the Rugby World Cup (integrated into the BBC site… I just can’t locate it!), for instance.

There’s a cost associated with online applications – managing registration databases, the need for Data Protection laws to be applied, the need to moderate in some cases.
Robin made the useful distinction between hosts and moderators in online communities – hosts need to keep an overview of a community and keep things on track, before calling in the moderators or “police” if things get heavy… particularly important in some BBC properties where stuff needs to be watched. Companies need to think about the skills required for staff who are taking on these public-facing roles. Good point.

(Robin already posted some remarks about the first couple of presentations – he did have the advantage of being able to do that while I was speaking!)

Dan Cooper, Covington & Burlington LLP
Dan ran a discussion of a lot of the legalities companies need to be aware of… essentially it’s important to have a clear blogging policy. Useful review of some of the key legislation and how corporate exposure has potentially increased. I’m going to direct you back to Robin’s write-up since he clearly took much better notes than I did… but I was interested in a discussion about whether or not to pull content, and how libel laws can be applied.

Pete Cranston, Interactive Media Engagement Advisor, Oxfam
Excellent and enthusiastic discussion on “blogging to engage”

Oxfam found that they were able to engage with a young audience (via e.g. Oxjam). They did a ot of work last year through MySpace due to the music culture. Oxfam is involved in lots of networks – Trailwalker, festival campaigning.

Over two years ago Oxfam launched a youth website – generation why – which focuses around a collective blog. There’s a debate about whether this is a sub-brand or a product… Pete sees it as a product which can also be used to drive traffic to main site.

Lessons learned from generation why – “trade control for reach, feed the network”.

Oxfam experimented with a director’s blog – it didn’t really work – the directors are great managers but not bloggers – so they dropped that experiment.

Event blogging with live Twittering seems to work really well for Oxfam.
They are also using MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr
Example – Fairtrade Woman in MySpace… vodcast of someone trying to live on FairTrade food for a month (

Other lessons for getting started: video blogs can work well for people who can’t write or whose writing is too formal; possibly post photos and add slogans; take a photo at an event, come back and write about it.

More to come…

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