Early this year I declared (not that anyone noticed) that 2007 would be the year of authenticity. That word, like transparency, is noble sounding but not necessarily well defined. Bulldog publisher Jim Sinkinson does a great job of not only helping gain clarity around this topic, but also providing some relevant and recent examples of why it is essential.
The struggle that many companies are having relating to this idea of authenticity or transparency and translating that into the online conversation was highlighted for me in a conversation with an attendee at a presentation I was making. He said that the company had decided not to comment on blog sites or respond to bloggers in anyway, nor blog themselves, because things happened so fast in the blog world that they couldn’t get their approval process moving fast enough to keep up with it. He asked what I thought of that, if it was an appropriate decision. Hmmm. No. Address the policies which is what you can control. But using your speech impediment as an excuse for not participating in the conversation simply doesn’t cut it.