Corporate censorship could be costly, in the PR-related longterm.
When given a choice, I tend to support the home team. That's just what Americans like to do, and that's why I utilize numerous BellSouth services. BellSouth provides my household with Internet access, local phone service, cellular service, various products and, this is very important, even a paycheck or two when the company utilized my copywriting services in the past.
In turn, I give you a portion of my money every month for providing such services. I have even purchased shares of BellSouth stock, hoping that the fruits of your labor will provide me with a (preferably immense) source of income at some point down the road.
I have been quite satisfied with the services BellSouth provides, give or take a few bumps in the road and the maddening lack of sales reps in your Cingular stores. Overall, I'd say I have been a darn good player on the BellSouth team.
However, BellSouth censors my blog (most blogs I'd imagine) by not allowing employees to access it from the BellSouth workplace. (Granted, anyone reading my particular blog while on the job and not on a break is likely a highly unproductive, lazy goof-off and should be fired at once. But even that point could be argued in the blog's slight favor, but I'll refrain from doing so here for brevity's sake.)
That one wee productivity issue aside and the larger one regarding "open media" brought to the front instead, I must say that I am considering moving all my communications services elsewhere -- and selling off my unvast holdings, too. I know such idle banter from a lone blogger will hardly have 'em trembling in the boardroom over on Peachtree, but it is a point to consider - and even respond to.
The issue of corporate censorship isn't just going to go "Poof" away one day. No, and pesky bloggers and journalists will likely keep writing about it for a while to come. See this recent Wired News story.
What if one day my blog reaches an audience of, oh say, 50-100K unique viewers a day? And this is not a far-fetched goal at all. What if I then urge my readership to give up their BellSouth services and products if their services and products in turn (their blogs) are not allowed in to that particular corporate environment?
Think about it. It could happen. We bloggers are many - as are our choices. And we are not likely to go away anytime soon. Heck, some folks seem to think we could even take over All Media As We Know It. Those wacky futurists!
When this happens, can I please be Maureen Dowd? Please, please? Pretty please? I can talk real sexy-like and turn my hair all fiery red too.