Robert Scoble, one of the deans of blogging, asks why on earth would bloggers cover enterprise technologies - bloggers cannot be impactful in influence or garner many advertising impressions. Just not very sexy.
So I started to post this long comment...but respectfully did not want to use so much of his real estate and wrote it here instead
"a) Robert, beauty and sexiness is in the eye of the beholder. You like to write about individual gadgets or web services. In the enterprise world, we look to apply those to scalable, secure applications. But to get to that magic you have to blend appropriate mix of software, hardware, telecomm and service – and boring topics like controls, privacy and compliance. You cannot just talk about an individual vendor product in isolation.
You know what turns me on? To see UPS give each one of its drivers a DIAD - and they did it years before the recent wave of personal gadgets - with GPS, wifi, scanning and other technologies. And with a battery that lasts all day. Can our iPhones do that? See the massive technology behind their ops that make it so easy for their millions of customers. This time of the year, you realize they are Santa's elves with the billions of deliveries they do daily.
To rent from Hertz and marvel that they have taken most labor out of the customer interface - other than the bus driver . They have taken 30 minutes out of that process for most businesspeople as I wrote here
b) Think of your own personal buying decisions. The bigger the ticket, the more influencers in the decision process. For a gadget, your blog influence is significant. But if you were covering autos, your input would likely be one of 20 consumers would consider. If you were a real estate blogger, your input would be one of 50. In enterprise decisions there are literally hundreds of influence points as I wrote here. No single blogger or industry analyst can sway a product. So most enterprise bloggers are not delusional about our individual influence.
c) Consumer technologies were historically covered by media. Now you and Mike and others also have influence (though you know what I still check the Consumer Reports site to get a completely unbiased view on any gadget). In the enterprise world we had industry analysts and niche publications. And it was never just about CPM. Revenues have come from subscriptions, industry events, consulting, benchmarking etc. You will be amazed at the varied revenue sources that make up the billion dollars a year Gartner earns. Similarly, us Enterprise bloggers would starve if we depended on Google ads. I can assure you most of us do ok on our W-2s. The enterprise technology (and telecomm) market is over a trillion dollars each year, many times bigger than the consumer tech market.
d) Bill Gates has plenty of bloggers at MS in his Dynamics, SQLServer, Office units - and external bloggers covering those categories. You know this from your days there - the encouragement for these internal and external bloggers to be more conversational has to come from the top – Bill/Steve. Their friends at SAP have been much more open with external bloggers for a couple of years now and just this week I wrote about that openness here. And believe me I am one of SAP’s fiercest critics, but they welcome me and gave me access to their execs and customers.
e) Yes, we will never have the glitz of following a Facebook or Twitter or an iPhone, but the software and other technologies we cover cut checks, invoice customers, design products, manage supply chains, keep the wheels of commerce turning.
Aren’t you glad some of us find that sexy -)"
Update: I take the afternoon off to watch some football, and I see what in the NFL they call "swarm defense". Fellow Irregulars - Michael Krigsman, Dan Farber, Dennis Howlett, Anshu Sharma, Sadagopan, Craig Cmehil - have all jumped in defending enterprise technologies. Just shows you us boring enterprise types have little to do even on Sundays -)