Now it's getting completely mainstream. Business Week's cover story in the 2 May edition is all about blogs. You can't miss this one - just look at that cover!
It looks like it's the main feature story in all Business Week editions, not only the US edition. So wherever you are in the US, Europe, Asia - everywhere in the world that Business Week circulates - you'll see this cover staring at you from newsstands everywhere.
It's also online at Business Week Online.
Written like a series of blogs posts, the feature explores blogs from the business perspective in quite a different way to other recent mainstream media reporting I've seen.
None of the "blogs are personal diaries or journals" type of explanation and focus. No, this story moves that focus fast forward and in a far more relevant way for the business reader.
In a nod to what we're already exposed to about blog reporting, and the 'blog reporting fatigue' that's already begun to develop it seems to me, the feature says this early on:
[...] Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business -- including yours. It doesn't matter whether you're shipping paper clips, pork bellies, or videos of Britney in a bikini, blogs are a phenomenon that you cannot ignore, postpone, or delegate. Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They're a prerequisite.
The article includes many examples of what's already happening in the business world of blogs. The General Motors executive blog is discussed. It talks about what mainstream media will be doing. And much more.
There's also a highlight on Steve Rubel, about whom Business Week says, "Now Rubel is positioned as an all-knowing Thumper in a forest of clueless Bambis."
Nice one, Steve, although I'm not too sure it's especially complimentary! Best to read it in the full context.
My only potential quibble about the story: unlike a blog, the post-like content is in chronological order, ie, oldest content first, rather than newest content first. Yet given the audience who will read it, it hardly matters. Could that audience care about purist descriptions of what a blog really is? I don't think so.
In any event, the content order as it appears is the only way to read and understand the story. So this isn't really a quibble.
This story, as with any other in any print magazine, will have a limited shelf life. Come the next edition and things will have moved on.
So Stephen Baker and Heather Green, the feature's authors, have started a blog:
[...] But this story should go on, as a conversation. And it will, starting on Apr. 22. We're launching our own blog to cover the business drama ahead, as blogging spreads into companies and redefines media. The blog's name? Blogspotting.net. See you there.
But there's more - not only Business Week but also the Wall Street Journal has commentary about blogs.
My verdict: MSN Spaces is very well done. It makes it easy to create a simple, attractive blog with text, links and photos, and to customize the blog in interesting ways. [...] MSN Spaces is a good, basic blogging service that I can recommend to any novice blogger.
So you could read Business Week for the serious business story about blogs. Then, sign up for MSN Spaces and give it a whirl yourself.
No, actually, I wouldn't really recommend that (it could be good for your kids, though). If you do want to dip your own toe into blogs, check out TypePad. Not free - although you can try it out free for 30 days - but far more representative of a business blog environment.