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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Are you Cutting your Business in Half?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I've noticed a very odd trend among some of the business blogs I read. I expect to get a blast of political viewpoints when I visit Kim DuToit. That's why I go there. But when I visit a technical or business blog, I'm not looking for political opinion.

For instance, take John Battelle's post for yesterday. Mixed right in there with articles about search marketing is some left wing political drivel about the treasonous house Democrates that didn't pass immunity for telcos cooperating with intelligence agencies. Obviously, I disagree with John. I had no idea he was such an idiot. I suspect that when the next big terrorist attack happens the Dems will be crying about how Bush didn't do enough to stop it, even though they've worked against things as reasonable as monitoring communications from known terrorists in foreign countries calling into the US. FDR was lucky that he didn't have to deal with the current House Dems.

Several other business oriented bloggers have jumped on the Obama Rama wagon and made their political beliefs known. Until they spoke up, I had given them the benefit of the doubt that they knew something about their field.

And this points out why it's a bad idea to mix politics and business. John Batelle lost at least one reader this morning. If you keep your politics to yourself, you don't run the risk of cutting your readership in half. The country is about evenly divided right now, so it just doesn't make sense to come out with a big political statement on either side in the context of a business blog. Unless of course your business model is so strong that you can live with a market that is 50% smaller than its potential.

Some business bloggers respond "Hey, that's who I am and so that's how I blog. I'm showing people that I'm real." I think that's pretty irresponsible. If you're a CEO, then you've got employees and stockholders depending upon you. Unless you're Ted Turner, you can't afford to risk their livelihoods on your political dalliances. As a business person you have a duty that goes beyond expressing your personal political beliefs. You have to protect your company. If you offend a bunch of people, even if you think their opinion isn't important and you're right, you're driving customers away from your business.

Finally, getting political drivel from a business blogger is pretty close to listening to what Hollywood stars have to say about a political candidate. I really couldn't care less. It changes or confirms my opinion of the star, but it has no impact on how I view the candidate.

If you really feel the need to promote your political views, you should start a personal blog (one separate from your business) and make sure that the two are separate. Avoid the temptation to link them together. Make sure you give thoughtful reasons for your positions. Eschew Kos Kids Komedy style stuff. People may disagree with you, but they will respect your historical and political knowledge. If you can't do that, then maybe you should just stay quiet.


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