Capsule is hardly what you'd call a corporation. We really have none of the hallmarks. You do your own dishes. Jeans are worn on days other than Friday. Flip flops are acceptable in summer. In fact, shoes are optional.
So I'm definitely not categorizing this blog as corporate. It's a one-horse-town in the world of Intel, Macintosh and other huge corporations with blogging employees.
Google "corporate blogging" and the first page of results brings up the McDonald's Corporate Social Responsibility blog. I received a personal response to a recent comment I left about some new packaging I witnessed that seemed completely unsustainable. It was both cool and weird to know that a McD's bigwig actually read and replied to my comment. And he did seem sincere - it wasn't a PR form response. Ok, perhaps it was an intern - we can never be sure. Was I completely convinced that McDonald's is an industry leader when it comes to sustainability? No. But the personalization of this interaction did count for something. Even just having a corp like McDonald's acknowledge that there is the need for a Corporate Social Responsibility department is a big step forward compared to just a decade ago.
Minneapolis' own Best Buy's CMO has his own blog - and the guy gets lots of traffic! He even allows readers to preview new ad campaign concepts and writes frankly about how Best Buy is trying to ride out the recession.
Some of these corporate behemoths are letting their customers get an intimate view like never before. They see that blogging is a relatively inexpensive way of improving transparency and authenticity, engaging with customers in a genuine way and hence gaining trust. This is the ultimate in strengthening brand loyalty.
For others (and I'm not naming names - at this point), a blog is yet another PR tool to be carefully controlled and crafted. This kind of blog is a token effort, and one that consumers will quickly see through. Now more than ever, they will never simply swallow what is spewed out by the PR machine - consumers are savvy and smart, and willing to take the time and effort to research who's being honest and who isn't.
The internet has given Joe-the-plumber and Joe-six-pack (sorry, couldn't resist) access to information that we've never previously experienced. I can now see what another Macy's customer thinks of the Martha Stewart Milk Eyelet duvet cover. That, people, is crucial information. But there are other benefits to this new era that people may care about more than Martha's threadcount, obviously. Want to find a list of companies that still conduct barbaric animal testing? Manufacture products only in the USA? Donate to charity? Find a group of people sharing your fascination for the space-time continuum? The internet will make it possible.
What is your company doing, thinking, or changing that your customers will want to know about? How can you begin a sincere conversation with them?