Piu’blog 2008 , arrived this year at its third edition, aims at spreading the Italian blogosphere out of the blogosphere. Piùblog - hold within the the annual fair of the independent Italian publishers “Più libri più liberi” from the 5th of December until today - offered more than 30 different sessions, ranging from Second Life to social media and networks.
Italo Vignoli invited me to join his session, so I had the chance to meet again Stefano Epifani, who helds a blog laboratory course named BlogLab at the Faculty of Communication Science here in Rome. BlogLab is probably the only course introducing students to blogging with an hands-on approach, allowing students to learn by doing helped by many gifted fellows. Last but not least students are given an internship opportunity by companies, and last year I was really glad to help with that for one of these students.
Italo opened the session stressing the importance of the message rather than the medium, asking the panel to address the issue with an eye to corporate blogging. Antonio Giulio la Corte, Strategy & Business Development Advisor at H-Farm, who gave the audience an idea of how Zooppa helps leading brands to create ads taking advantage of a big and growing talent pool (have a look at the open competitions, if interested in the matter).
Information asymmetry maybe mitigated by marketplaces, and open source marketplaces can play a role too. Talking about how companies and social media I mentioned the role of wikis, forum and mailing-lists in the European software patents war.
Big fish, small ponds by McBeth
Coopetition, at least open source coopetition, is an opportunity to reduce costs and share risks, made easier by the capability to reach large audiences offered by social media. As proven also by my personal experience as blogger, this is not a free beer. Italian companies, and Italian professionals too, need to join the global conversation, surviving the idea of being (small) fish in a big pond.
Many Italian consultants like Fabio Ventoruzzo are convinced of the opposite. Multinational companies make social media experiments: Microsoft fund local initiatives, while Stefano Venturi, CISCO Italy CEO, enjoys to talk about social themes on Nova. Big fishes seem just to struggle in small ponds.