A few days ago Nicholas Carr as usual found himself in hot water for suggesting that not every company needs to blog. Carr’s arguments were quite coherent, but were not received well, primarily because many big name bloggers disagreed with him. Today, his arguments found new support. Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, has written a nakedly honest post asking Shel and Scoble – why Amazon should institutionalize blogging.
I wanted them abandon their fuzzy group hug approach, and counter me with hard arguments why they were right and I was wrong. Instead they appeared shell-shocked that anyone actually had the guts to challenge the golden wonder boys of blogging and not accept their religion instantly.
In the subsequent posts, I still don’t think either Shel or Scoble have addressed what Vogels was really asking. I think it is about making a strong counter argument – after all, prophets have to defend their way of thinking all the time.
Update: Robert Scoble thinks it is an unfortunate headline and I am trying to make it sound like its a company war. Actually, its not that unfortunate. Amazon, as argued by Vogels, listens to its customers, with or without blogging. Its track record shows. I testify to that personally. Microsoft, how many times has it listened to the customers. With or without blogging! When Vista flap happened last week, what did the blogging do?
Scoble gives examples of how blogging worked for small start-ups, a tailor and a winery. Yes, those are different situations which worked for those companies. This doesn’t mean it should work for Amazon. So, basically that’s the question Vogels asked. It was “blunt” as Carr called it. And it needed an equally blunt answers. Scoble should have given five reasons why Amazon should blog, and in fact he still can, and then let the world decide whether his recommendations make sense for Amazon or not.
Update #2: There is a whole bunch of people saying Vogels apologized. Here is what he said: “Most people seem to agree that my line of questioning was somewhat unforgiving when I felt they didn’t come up with the right answers. I promise to be nicer to our next guests.” Does that sound like an apology to you, or something got lost in translation.
Update #3: Dave Winer just says what Scoble should have said. Simple.