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2talkabout.jpgEnough with the pontificating bloggers already! How many times can the same story be snarked over! How many CEOs can pretend to write blogs? Time to move forward.
The next wave of blogs will be consumer-generated content and Honda UK will be in the forefront when the Honda-sponsored 2TalkAbout car blog launches on Feb 28.
The new blog will “encourage dialogue, interaction and sharing views and content (text, audio, video)” about cars. Although the content will be independent from Honda, the company’s engineers will regularly log on to contribute posts and respond to feedback, in an effort to provide users with direct access to the brand. If they respond to customer concerns in a credible way, a real and meaningful conversation can follow, a la Cluetrain. That means negative as well as positive content will have to be included. That’s particularly hard for publicly traded companies, who worry that negative content will adversely affect stock prices.

It all evens out
But the good news about the blogosphere is that crazy people, those with an ax to grind, and people trying to engage in self-promotion are eventually evened out by group.
All consumer-generated content has to be moderated or it will deteriorate into spam and porn as Usenet and bulletin boards did back in the day. But it does not have to be vetted by lawyers or flaks, just by someone with decent judgment and lots of energy and patience.
The democratization of blogging
Allowing large numbers of people to have authorship privileges and generate topics for the blog, as more than two thousand people had on the Up Your Budget Hunter’s Blog, represents the democratization of blogging. It’s also a giant step forward in the use of blogs in marketing.
John Goodbody, Website Manager at Honda (UK), told Ask a Price’s Motor Torque. “We encourage our customers to interact, and this is a great medium for doing just that.”
Visitors to the blog can talk about whatever kind of cars they like, not just Honda, says Goodbody, although the focus will be on Honda. The network launches next week with the unveiling of the Civic Type R Concept car which 2TalkAbout visitors will be among the first to see.
I hope the Honda blog serves as a successful model to other companies contemplating blogging. Look for the launch next week.
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