Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, writes his view on the 6 elements (cute, naughty, bizarre, clever, recognizable, cruel) that make great cartoons. 2 out of 6 elements make a cartoon funny, 4 or better make for a hit.
While blogging is still very young, I thought it would be fun to outline 6 elements on what the average Dilbert - either a corporate user or vendor of technology - finds attractive in blogs.
1. WIIFM factor - what's in it for me - give me a different perspective on emerging products and ideas in my area of focus. Like Om Malik does around various telecomm and web 2.0 areas, what Dennis Howlett is building for accounting practices in Europe, what Jason Busch does around Spend Management, Paul Greenberg around CRM issues, Renee Blodgett as she writes about vendor marketing/ communication issues and more and the software industry issues MR's guests catalog in his Sandhill blog.
2. "Aha" Value - break out news that mainstream media or industry analysts are too slow or too conflicted to report on. Like the great piece of investigative work that Mark Russinovich did on Sony's rootkit issue or Jeff Jarvis did on Dell's customer service problems. If I may be so immodest, my posts this summer challenging Larry Ellison's view that the software industry was consolidated would also qualify.
3. Name dropping - Dilbert can live vicariously as he reads Tom Peters describe close encounters with famous companies and places he visits. Same with Rich Karlgaard who writes about powerful VCs, politicians and business executives he interacts with as editor of Forbes.
4. Different worlds - Globalization may make Dilbert nervous but he would still like to stay abreast of what Sadagopan writes from his perch in Singapore. And what John Hagel writes about Dubai and other places. Dilbert may not understand the VC and entrepreneurial world but can get a view about every exciting and kooky thing that originates in California from Jeff Nolan and Paul Kedrosky and from Chris Selland who writes about the Boston high-tech scene.
5. Community voice - a good blog draws an opinionated crowd - as in London's Speaker's corner. Tony Perkins' Always On is usually a free-for-all in opinions and for a change Dilbert can stand back and watch the fun rather than be the object of fun. Same with ZD Net - this post had 80+ comments at last count.
Gosh, I could name countless more blogs from each of these angles...but let's see how many blogs can consistently score on 4 or better on these elements over the next few years...