Spencer Swartz writes for Reuters:
"For a few years now, blogs have given tech-savvy individuals a platform to publish directly to the Internet their personal opinions on everything from relationships to politics. Thousands of blogs, characterized by some as the height of self-importance, are posted daily.
But blogs, short for Web logs, are fast gaining corporate recognition and soon may be acknowledged simply as important.
In a sign blogs are moving mainstream, major technology companies, including Microsoft Corp.(Nasdaq:MSFT - news) and International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM - news), came together at a recent conference to discuss the profit potential of the Web publishing format.
The growth in the number of blogs, and those who read them, continues to attract attention from business leaders, including Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates (news - web sites), as a means of enhancing companies' communication more directly with employees, partners and customers.
Venture capitalists, start-ups, and technology titans gathered at the University of California Berkeley's Haas Business School to consider the commercial use of blogs and issues, such as privacy concerns, that surround blogging.
The event builds on comments Gates made at Microsoft's annual CEO Summit in May touting blogging as a new business tool, and features added by Google Inc., the No. 1 Web search company, to its Blogger.com service to allow users to publish content from e-mail-enabled devices such as cell phones.
IBM sees blogs as a way to revolutionize employee communication, one executive said on the sidelines at the July 23 conference, which attracted about 300 attendees."