"If you're not blogging, you're an idiot," management uber-guruTom Peters told hundreds of attendees at the Inc. 5000 conference yesterday. "No single thing in the last 15 years has been more important to me professionally than blogging... It's changed my thinking, it's changed my outlook'¦ it's the best damn marketing tool and it's free."

Tom's blog is featured on his company home page.

In response to a question from moderator Susan Sobbott, president of AmEx OPEN ("True or False? You have control over your brand"), Tom said his perception of "brand" has changed since he started blogging in August 2004.

"The brand is now to a significant degree the quality of the conversation... and the conversation IS the brand," he said.

Fellow panelist Seth Godin agreed: "What matters is the humility that comes from writing (a blog), that forces you to describe why you did something. It doesn't matter if anyone is reading your blog. You're doing it for yourself."

Below Tom reprises how blogging has changed his life and his business.