Edinburgh Festival FringeAt the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, blogging has been brought to the fore and making an impact through two shows which focus on blogging in two very different environments.

The two shows in question are:

Girl Blog From Iraq which is a theatrical recreation of the very poignant blog Baghdad Burning written by Riverbend, a 24 year old Iraqi woman living in Baghdad, about the war going on around her and its impact.

Bloggers: Real Internet Diaries excerpts taken from real blogs which have been combined into a play about 10 bloggers who bare all in public. In all senses, I believe.

Putting to one side the theatrical merits of the productions, which I cannot comment on, I ask myself whether the fact that these plays are appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe is good for people like myself, who are trying to introduce organisations to the business opportunities which blogs offer them.

The answer, I believe, is both yes and no.

On the positive side, it certainly adds visibility to the concept of blogging and indicates that blogging is reaching a level in the UK where it is becoming understood, talked about and used. I have also noticed an increasing number of articles and news items talking about blogging from TV News reports to mainstream newspaper articles.

However, on the downside, the vast majority of these mentions, including of course the plays at the Edinburgh Fringe, start with the premise that a blog is an online diary and blogging is purely a personal activity. This is the case with personal blogs but of course is very far from the truth when it comes to the corporate use of business blogs.

So, while it’s good to see the additional publicity for blogging, I find that it has also re-inforced the notion that blogging is purely a social activity and so leaves the same barriers to overcome when explaining to companies where the business benefits of blogging lie.

Nevertheless, the same was true in the US which is now taking the lead in terms of using Business blogging as an external and internal communications tool. The same will certainly happen in the UK and what we need to do is help companies successfully use it and so take it from The Fringe and into the mainstream.

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