Use of Weblogs for Competitive Intelligence | First International Business, Technology CI Conference, Tokyo Oct 2005
April 26, 2006
· Posted by Greg Lloyd
the past fifty years, the inspiration of hypertext systems has been the
challenge of dealing with an ever-increasing volume of information.
With the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a near universal
platform for commercial and scientific information, it is now possible
to use the WWW as a platform for collecting, analyzing, disseminating
and receiving feedback on competitive intelligence and other valuable
business information. This paper will use examples of weblog deployment
for competitive intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry to examine
broader challenge of enabling enterprises to more effectively deal with
the ever increasing volume of critical business information in general.
Use of Weblogs for Competitive Intelligence (full paper 853K .pdf)
by Greg Lloyd
First International Conference/Workshop on Business, Technology and Competitive
Nihon University, Tokyo 25 Oct 2005
(or “blogs”) are best known as personal daybooks on the web written by
an individual consisting of a “collection of clippings, musings and
other things like journal entries that strike one's fancy or titillate
one's curiosity. What makes this online daybook different from the
commonplace book is that this form of personal noodling or
diary-writing is on the Internet, with links that take the reader
around the world in pursuit of more about a topic” Safire, (2002).
gained mass media attention as personally published websites written by
amateur reporters, pundits – or teenagers. For example, anyone can sign
up for a free personal or low cost personal weblog from
LiveJournal.com. As of August 2005 LiveJournal.com hosted over
2,600,000 active weblogs, 85% written persons by persons 20 years old
or younger, see LiveJournal (2005). As of the end of July 2005,
Technorati.com reported that it was tracking over 14.2 million weblogs,
about double the number tracked in March 2005, see Sifry (2005).
Weblogs are part of an emerging infrastructure that uses the global
Internet as a massively scalable platform to disseminate information in
a form that can be easily written, read, correlated, and commented on
by anyone with the skills necessary to use a web browser.
This paper presents the following thesis:
The World Wide Web’s shift to medium that is generally writable as well
as readable represents a return to the original vision of the WWW and
hypertext systems that pre-date the Web.
2) Weblog technology
will not be limited to personal use, but holds the potential to
profoundly change the way that commercial and government enterprises
handle internally facing and externally facing working communication.
Collection, analysis, and dissemination are classic parts of the
Competitive Intelligence (CI) process, and particularly well suited to
the strengths of weblog technology.
4) Weblog technology can
deliver a higher volume of CI alerts and analysis to a wider audience
more effectively than email or any known alternative.
creating easily authored content and commentary within the weblog and
linking to any Web addressable content, weblogs create an open and
scalable resource that can be used for notification and reference, as
well as mined for historical insight across the largest enterprise. ...
Weblog - the NLS Journal Revisited
central thesis of this paper is that the weblog format provides a
stable, open journal, which links and comments on the intelligence,
dialog, and work product contained within the weblog, while connecting
to all sources addressable on the public or a private Web.
the weblog is itself part of the public (or private) Web it can
preserve a stable, addressable set of references, which can be linked
to by any other Web source, or analyzed by any application that has
permission to address that weblog’s content. This interoperability
addresses Engelbart’s primary concern about proprietary and opaque
representations (the norm prior to the Web) creating silos of
information that would make universal linking and interchange difficult
The time ordered and uniquely identifiable
articles (or posts) within the weblog correspond directly to individual
documents with the NLS Journal. Like documents in the Journal, articles
with the weblog should either be read-only, or include revision history.
link to content external to the weblog is subject to the same
uncertainty as any other link in Berners-Lee’s web – content can change
or abruptly disappear at the whim of the publisher, by accident, or if
the publisher goes out of business. This limitation does not generally
apply to Web addressable resources that have lasting commercial value,
or Web addressable resources created and maintained in stable
repositories such as Enterprise Content Management or line of business
systems managed by businesses for their public or private use.
is also possible to deploy weblog products that can clip and retain an
independent record of valuable but potentially transitory facts or
documents (used subject to copyright law), or post a brief independent
summary to a weblog.
The last point is worth analyzing. Any
information posted to the public Web can be discovered and commented on
by any person with an interest and a free weblog. The fact that a
person or organization posted an item mentioning any phrase or URL in
one of over 14 million weblogs monitored by Technorati.com (or one of
their competitors) can be reported to anyone with a (free)
Technorati.com account in near real time via an RSS subscription. See
Millions of human eyes and their agents
constantly scan and evaluate items posted to the public Web using Web
search, notification, and social tagging engines to focus on a
particular topic. When a person finds a “momentarily important item”
[Bush (1945, p. 1)] by directed search or serendipity, it is simple to
post a note and link to that item on their weblog. If the item is of
genuine interest, the weblog post will be discovered and discussed by
others, a social process that amplifies a weak signal and can add
A note and link from a weblog also
adds a measure of statistical redundancy to the unreliable Web.
Although the content of an arbitrary Web resource referenced by the
weblog post could be changed or disappear at any time, if the original
content is noticed, linked to and commented on by one or more persons,
a secondary record of the original content may remain in a form that is
difficult to eliminate (for legal content) and easy to find.
Berners-Lee’s original concept of the Web, use of weblogs and wikis as
easily deployed and relatively stable authored indices to arbitrary Web
content is a pragmatic compromise. The Web’s naturally evolving
infrastructure provides complementary Web search, RSS/ATOM syndication,
notification and search, augmenting the loose but massively scaleable
architecture of the Word Wide Web. ...
Copyright © 2005 Gregory R. Lloyd
Some rights reserved, distributed under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
Full Paper (853KB .pdf)
Abstract and Reference sections
Powerpoint slides and additional references (6.8MB .ppt)