I've been struggling lately to develop a guiding aesthetic for corporate bloggers and I've finally got it. Camp Fire Talk. We've been conditioned by a million years of camp fire talk to accept its steady, unadorned, agenda-free tone as trustworthy.
Around the fire, after a day of grubbing for grubs or dancing between the legs of a woolly mammoth, our ancestors didn't harangue cavemates about how their new improved spear thrower would jump-start their sex life. You can't fool anyone around the fire, because you've all been doing the same thing all day, your frailties and strengths on display.
During most of our history, there hasn't been much conversation except camp fire talk, and I'm not sure we accept any talk that doesn't pass the camp fire test. It's a tone that's almost impossible to fake, and it's certainly the only tone that one willingly endures for more than a few minutes. Camp Fire Talk is part of us, grafted onto our nervous system so thoroughly that speakers stray from it at their peril. We all know what it is and, better, what it isn't. Blogging is forcing us to remember how to do Camp Fire Talk.
Blogs are so constant and frequent and informal that we're being forced at last to drop the stridency and expert tone and false eloquence that orators, and their progeny, corporate communicators, have felt obliged to use.