Interesting question raised on Finextra today (OK – yesterday, then – in Oz the timing thing can be annoying) on the question of whether banks should start blogs about themselves – allowing feedback direct from customers and other interested parties.

I know this has been raised many times before, and a few (very few) banks are actually doing it. The question is how you would actually go about it. From what I can see the risks to a bank are fairly finely balanced – in that being perceived as being open and friendly is a good thing, but also that banks (rightly or wrongly) will always have a few, noisy, detractors – ranging from dissatisfied customers (or former customers) – to those who for political or ideological purposes simply detest banks.

The logical answer to this is to have a moderated discussion, but, given the blog is an official one, the moderation would have to be reasonably heavy or there would have to be humans on the bank’s side posting responses reasonably quickly. Either that or it simply does not allow comments – but this would then make it boring beyond belief.

Unmoderated it would be highly risky; if moderated it loses the spontaneity of a blog; with humans actively monitoring it would be expensive and as just another media channel – boring.

The options can then be summarised, to me at least, as being highly risky, expensive or boring – or, at worst, two

of the three.