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Detroit speech: What are your secrets worth?

? L.A. Times experiments with wikis |


| What if PR people blogged journalists? ?

June 19, 2005

Detroit speech: What are your secrets worth?

Stephen Baker

I'm flying to Detroit tomorrow to give a talk about blogs. My preliminary idea, based on our discussion about blogging my notebook, is this: What are your secrets worth? Just about every company has had standard practices for decades or longer to protect its secrets. But the rise of blogs, open source, and the networked world should lead them to re-evaluate their secrets, because many of them have stored value. They could be used to forge relationships, either with customers or other companies.

This is just the bare bones, and I'll have to put some meat on it over the next day. But the essence, as Rob Hof wrote in his cover story is openness and sharing. If I tell you my secret and you tell me yours, together they might turn into something very big. In a sense, this was IBM's idea in opening a trove of its patents. Of course, IBM kept a firm grip on most of its patents. Some things you don't want to share. But just the way we're rethinking the privacy of our notebooks, everyone should question whether they're getting enough value from their secrets.

If anyone has examples to bolster, refine or demolish this line, please send them along.

10:47 AM

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Great post, Stephen ?? idealistic and realistic in one.

Posted by: John Evans (SYNTAGMA) at June 19, 2005 12:53 PM

This is very timely as the leading online marketing publication/site (iMedia) just launched what I've referred to as an "Open Source Marketing" project (i.e., the marketing is open has nothing to do with open-source software). This is consistent with the increase of corporate transparency. More details can be found at the following URL:

Posted by: Dave Chase at June 19, 2005 03:23 PM

"But the essence, as Rob Hof wrote in his cover story, is openness and sharing"

I believe "the essence" may be more basic. It's the fact that the blogging platform has made it possible for millions on non-greeks to join in the conversation on the Internet. I've written a testimonial about this aspect of blogging in my current post ( )

Just a thought!

Posted by: Ed Deevy at June 20, 2005 08:23 AM

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