s genre analysis helps describe how corporate communication might evolve from prior forms of communication ranging from offline corporate communication to online personal journals. They suggested that online forms of communication such as blogs might be better recognized as hybrid genres than as new forms of communication altogether. Herring et al. classified a small portion (17%) of the blogs in their sample as either knowledge blogs, mixed, or other (Herring, 2004).
Knowledge blogs are the online equivalent of professional journals in which authors document new knowledge in their professional domains, including research progress, references, and observation. (Herring, 2004) Extending this concept beyond academic and scientific fields, organizational blogs also seem to appear at the intersection of personal reflection and professional communication. Organizational blogs have evolved from both online and offline modes of communication and have characteristics of both personal and professional communication.
Gossett and Kilker (2006) suggest that the blogs may be useful in obtaining crucial information for corporations, if managed properly. Counterinstitutional Web sites can also be important resources for individuals who want to voice their concerns by many not feel safe enough to engage in articulated dissent or overt acts of resistance. A study by Taras and Gesser (2003) dealt with a Web site that allowed lawyers to publicly and anonymously discuss the wages and benefits offered by their firms.
This online forum enabled junior legal associates to share information and apply pressure to their employers in wars that would be nearly impossible through traditional organizational channels. Though these studies were somewhat reflecting negative ideas for the executive branch in the corporations, companies can benefit to these by learning how to seek and understand information which are crucial to avoid such circumstances wherein companies lose.
Both the corporation and the employees could benefit from blogging, if the corporation manages blogging very well as well as it recognizes the perspective of giving thorough consideration to human development. If corporations do the opposite, such as discourage open discussions and consultations with their employees, it would of course be unbeneficial for them due to problems which may arise. Empowering employees for open discussions through the internet would be critical in overcoming discursive barriers within the organization and enable members to take part in discussions that might normally be discouraged (Gossett & Kilker 2006, 68).
If corporations dont conduct participatory assessments with their members, the bloging would be an important medium to consider for knowing employee concerns. The traditional means of communication have long been co-opted and captured by the dominant, but the Internet presents the potential of seizing and re-aligning the cultural and speaking capital as well as the public sphere within which the speaking occurs (Mitra 2001, 45) Sprague (2007) explains how blogs can greatly influence businesses. Businesses may be the victim of blogs, or businesses may try to harness the power of blogs and use that power to their advantage (Sprague, 2007).
Blogs can be a powerful tool for advertising and public relations. GM fast lane blogs of the General Motors encourages readers to share ideas on a variety of aspects related to the companys vehicles (Sprague, 2007). However, blogs may create problems for companies. Blogs may generate negative publicity as with the blog incident with Kryptonite, a company that manufactures bicycle locks. A video blog showed how a Kryptonite lock can be easily picked by a simple Bic ballpoint pen. Because of this, Kryptonite was forced spend about $10 million to replace the locks for free.
Aside from generating negative publicity, blogs may also raise legal issues. The critical issue that should be addressed in corporate blogs is whether its content should be categorized as commercial speech (Sprague, 2007). This issue about the categorization of corporate blogs opens up another problem: what really are corporate blogs and how do companys and their employees perceive them? Perception on corporate blogs somehow affects how the company and its employees accept this kind of innovation. Peoples acceptance of this innovation reflects how they utilize it.