If there’s one vital rule for business blogging, it’s don’t do something so dumb — so alien to the true spirit of blogging — that it’s just going to get you pilloried in the blogosphere. Of course, making fun of bad corporate blogging is so much like shooting fish in a barrel I rarely bother anymore, but I can’t resist with the new GuinessBlog.
Allow me to digress for a moment. At my workplace, a group of us have started a photo club. We meet once a week and discuss techniques and critique each others’ work. A few club members are real experts, including one guy I’ll call Vince (since that’s his name). Vince is a great photographer and a font of knowledge on the subject. He also is not inclined to sugar coat his feedback. He’s become famous for offering the following advice when someone asks how they could have made a picture better: “Don’t take that picture.” What he means is, the photographer took the landscape shot at midday, when the light was invariably going to be unflattering (much better to take all outdoor shots in early morning or late afternoon light, I’ve learned), or the photographer’s lens just wasn’t appropriate for the effect they were going for, or there was no good way to get an angle that wouldn’t include the light pole blocking the cathedral or whatever. The point is, sometimes when you are striving for quality, you just have to recognize that you can’t achieve what you want due to circumstances beyond your control.
So, back to Guiness’s crappy blog. Actually, Hugh, where I first learned of the blog, assures us it’s a good blog. Maybe so, but I’ll never know. That’s because Hugh lives in London and I live in NYC, and due to some legal mumbojumbo, Guiness has decided to put a screener page that blocks users from geographies outside of Great Britain. WTF?? Sure, I could go back to the form and fill it out again and lie about where I’m located (though I suspect it would remember me from my cookies, as I checked yes to “remember me”; and of course I’m clever enough to know how to delete that cookie selectively), but I really can’t be bothered. Like I care that much about Guiness’s blog. (A large number of commenters on Hugh’s post agree with me.)
Oh, I’m sure it has something valid to do with liquor export regulations that has their lawyers’ panties all in a twist, and possibly for some good reason. But in that case, I’d counsel, “don’t take that picture.” If you can’t do a blog right, better not to blog at all. Otherwise you risk a bunch of nasty blog posts calling you a clueless git, like this one.