Blogging Goes Corporate — For Free

There’s already a jillion and one blogging tools out there, I know. But here’s some news about one that’s an interesting new twist on the whole idea of blogging itself. It takes blogging into a whole new world — by connecting bloggers directly with each other. And in doing so it opens up whole new ways for people to find and relate to each other.

And the best part? It’s free!

Most blogs are essentially vanity websites. (This one included, of course.) Because of this, the idea of blogging has appealed mostly to individual users. Nobody’s tried to come up with a way to figure out how this could work for businesses, though.

Until now! You may already have heard of Radio Userland, a blog tool from Userland Software (home of blogging pioneer Dave Winer). Radio is a very simple desktop blogging app that lets you have your blog up and running literally in minutes.

But now they’ve taken Radio a step further. Radio Community Server is a new tool that connects Radio blogs — and, therefore, Radio users — to each other. Each Radio user on your network, when hooked up to an RCS, essentially becomes a specialized newsfeed, and all their colleagues can subscribe to their feed to hear their perspective on their areas of expertise.

What does this mean? It means the emergence of a powerful new tool for corporate knowledge management. In large corporations, just keeping track of who knows what can be a Herculean task. Imagine a large corporation with a network of RCSs, and each employee posting the latest developments from their work through desktop Radio clients. Suddenly it becomes dead simple to find “domain experts” in all sorts of areas. You may have knowledge hiding behind your firewall that you never knew existed, and this would be a great way to find out.

And Userland has made a canny business decision. They are pricing RCS at… drum roll… $0. That’s right, zip. Nada. Bupkis. Where do they make their money? On sales of the Radio client ($40 per seat). Talk about bootstrapping! This is a great example of how to apply the razor/blades approach to business. And in today’s strapped-for-cash business environment, that’s the only approach to take.