Subscribe for Business Blogging Updates

Blog Ethics

  • 1. We will tell the truth. We will acknowledge and correct any mistakes promptly.
    2. We will not delete comments unless they are spam, off-topic, rude, or defamatory.
    3. We will reply to comments when appropriate as promptly as possible.
    4. We will link to online references and original source materials directly.
    5. We will disagree with others' opinions respectfully and expect the same from you.

    Borrowed with minor revisions from GM's Fast Lane blog

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 02/2004

« TypePad delivers again - Technorati Tags | Main | E-Schoolers Make the Best Innovators »

November 19, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Robert Bly is my "hero" so I began reading this cautiously until I realized you were talking about the "other" Robert Bly. Not the noted American poet - Robert Bly.

Could you change your tag so it includes the Other's middle initial, Robert W Bly?


British scientist Lord Kelvin said: "When you can measure something in numbers, you know something about it." Direct marketers almost always know their marketing ROI. Bloggers usually don't.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for weighing in. I hope you've already forgiven the terminology and are joining in the playful spirit of the debate.

Now, with all due respect to Lord Kelvin, I doubt even he would cling too tightly to the quote you offer, since he lived into the era of Einstein's "thought experiments."

The quote gets at the root of the problem, though, because you seem to want to treat it's converse as true: that if we can't measure something in numbers we don't know anything about it.

Or worse, if we don't yet know how to measure something, we should act as if it does not exist.

That, my friend, is utter nonsense.

Scientists from Gallileo to Einstein to Hawking have gone about creating hypotheses and tests, eventually leading to theories and even laws, about things they first felt and then "knew" must exist, years before they could measure them.

Take gravity. Long before we could describe it accurately or measure something, humans built buildings with cantilevers and invented keystone arches. Would it have been "smart, tough-minded business" to operate as if gravity did not exist, just because we had not yet figured out how to measure it in numbers?

History has favored those who acted on what they could observe happening, without waiting for someone else to wrap a scientific explanation and measurement tools around it.

Should we try to figure out ways to identify and measure the many positive impacts of blogging and social media?


Should we wait until after someone solves the measurment problem before we use these new communication tools?

What do you think? (The existence of your blog hints at your answer, Bob.)


The comments to this entry are closed.

Community Involvement

  • Windsor Media gives back —

    Publishing Supporters of:

    A literacy and asset-building project in memory of Bailey Goodman —
          You can help, too!
    Learn more: Bailey's Book
    How you can submit essays
    Donate to Bailey's Book project


    Web Media Sponsors of:

    Eyes on the Future Summit for the Greater Rochester, NY Region
    Since 2007

    Rochester, NY Chapter of the American Marketing Association
    Since 2005