Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

pre: Thought about the best place to ask this in the SE universe and I think UX is closest, but I might be unaware of some better fit so open to suggestions.

I'm soon to launch a saas-company that for now only has 1 person working there: me.

I'd like to have a company-blog in a casual tone which discusses 'our' (here I go already) view on the industry, where our services fit in, etc.

To me, it's natural to talk about 'we' as in the entity: 'the company'. As I'm not a native English speaker I'm looking for your opinion whether this is perfectly fine. I.e: Is it okay to talk about 'we' when referring to the company, when that company (currently) happens to only consist of one person? Or should I really be using 'I' instead, because 'we' may come off as deceiving or arrogant?

share|improve this question
    
Blog is suppose to be more personal communication channel, post format is different from official company press release. –  Alexey Kolchenko Aug 20 '13 at 15:43
    
I suspect this belongs on english.stackexchange.com. However for what it's worth, the usage of we in this context seems fine to me. –  Racheet Aug 20 '13 at 16:06
    
There are severals views on the use of "I" versus "we" for one-person outfits. Some see the personal touch you get by using "I" as a big plus. Others think "we" would be better as people may be scared off doing business with a one-person outfit, especially when they tie their business processes to your services and thus would run a real business risk if something happened to you. Using "we" may hide the fact that you are alone, but communicating with "the company" people will soon realize there is just you. –  Marjan Venema Aug 20 '13 at 18:24
    
@MarjanVenema: I'm in the later camp. It's a nice additional benefit to perhaps lower the barrier to entry when talking about 'we' instead of 'I'. "Using "we" may hide the fact that you are alone, but communicating with "the company" people will soon realize there is just you." Perhaps I'm reading too much into this but 'hiding' has a negative connotation to me as if done on purpose. That's definitely not the intention: the 'about' page etc is open about that. It just feels more natural to be to talk about 'we'. Thanks for your thoughts. –  Geert-Jan Aug 21 '13 at 9:10
    
Yes, reading too much into it. Didn't think you wanted to "hide" it on purpose. It's just what happens when you use "we", even when you are open about it on your about page. I have done the same for the same reasons, but have changed my mind as it put me into too many conundrums when communicating with clients: do you use I or we in e-mails? When am I communicating as "the company" and when as "me"? It felt very strange to switch all the time. I finally decided to just use I everywhere. –  Marjan Venema Aug 21 '13 at 9:20
show 1 more comment

3 Answers 3

You think there is one person, but there's not. There's two. At the very least, it's you and the reader. Or, you and the customer. Our service is not your service -- it belongs to the customer as well. You want to get across that they are part of the business, too. After all, a business without customers isn't actually a business.

In my mind, using the phrase "my services" sounds too possessive and is not very engaging.

share|improve this answer
    
Point well taken! –  Geert-Jan Aug 20 '13 at 22:55
add comment

Either way would work depending on the tone and point of view you want to present. You need to work out what kind of tone you want. First person I is familiar, the royal we is more formal. I like the comical blogger tone that uses the royal we and phrases like "here at XXXX world headquarters", which loyal readers know is his home office in the den.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I would generally agree with Brendon's answer, as I find the use of 'we' instead of 'I' more appealing (in most cases at least). Academic articles, for example, are usually written from an 'us' perspective, even if it's just one team member. It's either 'us' or passive tense.

However, if you are going to be using your name as your brand, then you can definitely go for the 'I' route ("I am a software developer..."), because everything else would sound unrealistic. You could also go for the 3rd person, and say "John is software developer who specializes in..." / "Company A was founded by John in 2013...". As others mention, it will depend on the way you want to present yourself and your company.

I don't think there is a wrong answer to this, as long as you keep it consistent. And this being a blog, it's definitely more flexible. Plus, if you want to display yourself as a startup, sharing your 'true' story right from the beginning can have some positive impact.

share|improve this answer
    
I agree with your overall distinction. I think I woul generally go for 'I' were I to deliver, say, consultancy services or anything tailor-made. This however is not the case: the company will offer off-the-shelve saas services on a subscription basis. So I feel 'we' would be a better fit here. (No personal name involved in the branding either). I'm going to open my blog with the story behind the story probably as in introduction probably. Thanks for that idea :) –  Geert-Jan Aug 21 '13 at 9:13
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.