We also meet face to face a few times a year. I attended the last workshop in Chicago and helped facilitate a discussion around engaging detractors - something we're all called to do from time to time. What the Blog Council is not is a trade association, or a standards body.
"Blog Council members are leading by example. We're putting this out there to show everyone that disclosure is the right thing to do," said Andy Sernovitz, "Disclosure seems difficult at first, but it is actually easy to do well. We put these checklists together to make it straightforward for any company to figure out how to do the right thing."
After thinking and talking about the name for this group - Blog Council - we decided that it's a keeper. Yes, everyone is aware of the knee jerk reaction that the initial announcement provoked in the blogosphere. Whoever has been there first tends to be quite possessive of how everything is defined. With about two years of blogging and seven plus years of community building with the Fast Company network I still consider myself a newbie. The name is easy to remember even as we apply the learnings and sharing to all sorts of social media. So it stays.
There are plenty of people I should thank for my sticking with this blog and learning about social media. The excellent marketers, idea and branding gurus, context builders, business advisers, communications ninjas, new media evangelists, relationships teachers, and professionals who share their knowledge through publications. An honorable mention also goes to my friends who practice marketing in Italy. You will find all these individuals on my blog roll - a living testament to the kind of talent that is out there.
This group here, the members of the Blog Council, help me differently. They are my control, those who live my reality (or a similar one) day in, day out. There are smart consultants out there, but they do not have a desk inside a corporation like I do. They do not have the business reality I face every day to contend with. Sometimes, what they don't know makes all the difference. That's why I value these peers.
In the end the conversation is not quite about technology at all. It's about people, how we relate to our experiences and working environments. How we show up as human beings. It is my hope that these checklists will help business owners be more prepared to wade into the waters of social media alone or with the help of their agencies.