I just noticed an interesting post from Jason Calacanis on a fairly controversial subject- the need for businesses to blog (he titled his post “Blog or Die“). He is mostly talking about technology companies (mentions AOL as a use case that should be blogging more), but I would argue every company should have its own blog to communicate with its customers. The following quote makes his opinion, which is to give up your career if you can’t find time to blog about your product, very blunt.

If you are in the Internet industry and you don’t have time to blog about your product then you should quit. Go home, give up, and find another career. Your competitors are blogging about their products and talking to the market, and there is no way to compete if you don’t engage the discussion. So, by not blogging you basically are giving up and telling the market that you don’t care. That’s the honest truth.

I can relate to the following comment on the post

10. Amen. I think blogging provides a VERY valuable service to companies, that is it provides a direct conduit to their customers. Will I call a company and work my way thru their IVR system to leave my comment with a $10/hr customer service rep who will file it in their CRM system? No. Will I send them an email which disappears into a void? Maybe. Will I leave a comment on their blog telling them what I think? Absolutely.

The easiness of use is one of the major things that make blogs such a powerful mechanism to engage in the conversation and get relevant feedback from customers. If I want to leave a company feedback, chances are I am not going to take the time to call customer support and speak to a customer service representative in order to log my comment into a CRM tool that probably doesn’t get looked at. Instead, I would rather take 30 seconds to make a comment on a blog where it can be (instantly) seen publicly by anyone that may be interested- including top management with the power to act on the feedback. This is web 2.0 and customers expect a direct public channel to interact with companies- blogs and forums being the most common channels. So YES, I think I would agree with Jason on his point- if you are a technology company, Blog or Die! There are no excuses for not engaging in the conversation.