A 93-page report (about 1 MB download, PDF) by George Dafermos about ” how weblogs are turning corporate machines into real conversations.” From the abstract:
weblogs have an infinite spectrum of potential applications whose viability is based on the dual understanding that weblogs are an attempt to break free from the dehumanised, standardised, conformant with corporate guidelines on how to address an audience PR speak that customers are increasingly sceptical of, and a flexible virtual platform onto which a process of cross-fertilisation among individual thoughts and ideas unfolds.
Weblogs, in other words, envisage a hierarchy circumvention mechanism, which empowers knowledgeable employees to indulge in conversations with the market rather than communicating solely by means of marketing pitches and press releases that besides have limited effectiveness in a connected market economy. For years it has been suggested that online communities will revolutionalise the way organisations operate, however, the only social process/technological infrastructure that has reached this potential and is dynamically evolving is the weblog. It takes no technical savvy to set up a weblog and start talking to your customers. That’s why weblogs are huge:
they take the power out of the IT department and the webmaster’s hegemony and hand it over to where knowledge really resides – to the individual workers who are knowledgeable enough and know how to speak with a human voice. Now, organisational structure loses its historic role of managing power relations at a distance, and as a result the organisation becomes truly hyperlinked and power shifts to where knowledge actually resides.