Sorry, as much as I don't care for the idea of corporate blogging, this is not a corporate blog…

The Wall Street Journal reports today in the Advertising column (registration required) that Starwood Hotels has launched a web log called TheLobby.com. But read further…they’re not allowing their customers or other blog visitors to comment on the blog.

As much as I question the value of senior corporate executives spending their time blogging, I have to agree with corporate blogging evangelists that a one-way blog with no dialogue going on between the corporate bloggers and their audience just is NOT a blog at all.

It’s nothing more than a website where the designers are using a publishing tool that lets non-techie corporate PR folks running the website post their press release information without having to cope with corporate IT people who want to control web posting.

It’s ingenuous to post a “blog” with a bunch of super-solicitous, flattering (is that redundant?) links to bloggers their consultants must have identified as “A-List” bloggers that the company would want to be associated with — but not even create the pretense of a conversation with the folks who really matter — the ones that choose to stay with Starwood.

Companies that want to call their latest website a blog need to understand what that term implies, namely, give-and-take with the audience. Starwood could learn something useful about the travel needs and desires of its patrons, but they haven’t taken that risk.

2 Comments on Sorry, as much as I don't care for the idea of corporate blogging, this is not a corporate blog…

  1. Based on feedback that we received from our launch of http://www.thelobby.com, today we made an adjustment to the site so that there are now moderated comments/One of the great things about having a weblog is that we can – on an ongoing basis – make changes based on what we hear and what we learn internally.Over the next few weeks we’ll continue to address the ability for Starwood customers to participate in a dialogue on the site and we’ll continue to make adjustments like we did today.I hope you track our progressMarc SchillerElectricArtists

  2. Thanks for the comment, Marc. That sounds like a great response to the critique. I’m sure you heard from a lot of people on this, and it’s good to know that you’ll be reacting and engaging in the dialogue.

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