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To Blog or Not to Blog?

How Businesses Can Get Closer to


Their Markets through Blogging

The Content Factor


Digital and analog copy
Table of Contents
What Are “Blogs” and Where Did They Come From? ............................3

What Does Blogging Have to Do with Business? ..................................4

Ten Rules for Starting Your Corporate Blogging Off Right .......................6

1. Read Before You Write. ......................................................................7

2. Links Are Key. ...................................................................................7

3. Don’t Use Your Own Blog to Sing the Praises of Your Company.........8

4. Don’t Spam in Comments or Email. ..................................................8

5. Monitor What Bloggers Are Saying About You. ..................................9

6. Don’t Do Denial. .............................................................................10

7. Comments—Tread Carefully. ...........................................................11

8. Set Your Employees Free (Because They Already Are). ....................12

9. Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing and PR. .....................................12

10. Aggregators Are Great—But Start Small. .......................................13

There’s a Blog in Your Future (even if it’s not your own)........................14

Key Corporate Blogging Resources .....................................................15

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What Are “Blogs” and Where Did They Come From?

If there is a single truth about blogging, it’s that


“When people talk, bloggers have differing opinions on just about
listen completely.” everything—including the question of what a blog is
Ernest Hemingway (and isn’t) and how they came to be. Briefly described,
(1899-1961) “blog” is an abbreviated form of the term “weblog,”
which was coined in the late 1990s to describe
personal web sites that were updated regularly, with
individual “posts”—date-stamped journal entries—usually presented in
reverse chronological order, the most up-to-date writing first. Blogs are
an engaging alternative to static web sites because they offer something
new to read, usually every day and sometimes several times each day.

Whether serving as a site for news and opinion, or as a personal diary,


most blogs share several characteristics. These include a conversational
tone, frequent posts, and links to other sites, especially other blogs.
Bloggers are uniquely audience and author at once. Those who write
blogs daily also read them with gusto, which is how conversation among
bloggers takes shape. Bloggers refer to one another in their writing,
linking to posts on the same or similar topics, which results in a rich
dialogue among people with shared interests.
➔3

A stepchild of the dot-com boom (and bust), blogs were few and far
between throughout the 1990s—primarily, they were the hand-cobbled
creations of IT professionals and technology enthusiasts. For example, at
the beginning of 1999, there were an estimated two to three dozen
weblogs in existence. In 2001, when Evan Williams brought his small
software company Blogger (www.blogger.com) to market offering
“pushbutton publishing for the people,” blogging became as easy as
Figure 1: Technorati Homepage filling in an online form: typing into the Blogger window and clicking the
“Publish” button. Other, similar software tools also splashed into the
market then, giving would-be authors more options, creativity, and
opportunity to join the growing “blogosphere”—the loose-knit but
increasingly recognizable global network of blogs and related projects.

By the end of 2004, there were nearly four million blogs online,
according to Technorati (www.technorati.com), an organization that
tracks the growth of the blogging world. As of March 2005, the number
of blogs had climbed to 7.8 million, with more than 900 million links
between and among blogs, and between 30,000 to 40,000 new blogs
created each day. During the week of May 16, 2005, Technorati tracked
its ten millionth blog.

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If you’re looking for a phenomenon, you’ve found one in blogging.

Today, blogs are an interesting cross between “journal” and “journalism,”


and they cover as many topics as there are passions and opinions on the
planet—from quilting to marketing, from engineering to politics. Political
blogs, in particular, gained national attention during the 2004 U.S.
presidential election, with several bloggers such as Glen Reynolds (http://
instapundit.com) and Andrew Sullivan (http://andrewsullivan.com) rising
to national prominence as conservative pundits.

For better or worse, blogs had entered the mainstream. And businesses
were fast on their trail.

What Does Blogging Have to Do with Business?

First, blogging is potentially everywhere people are,


“There is only one thing in and you want to be where people are. Imagine if you
the world worse than being could talk to every individual in your market, one on
talked about, and that is not one, or in informal coffee-shop talks, about what
being talked about.” matters to him or her. Imagine if you could engage
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) your key audiences and influencers in a discussion, or
➔4
join a discussion they were having, about a problem
your product or service resolves. Imagine if you could
give a voice to your customers—who, in turn, give you immediate,
valuable feedback about what delights or disturbs them about your
product or service.

Well, actually you can. These are exactly the types of interactions taking
place where blogs intersect with business.

But how to set this in motion? The most important thing for corporations
to understand before they start blogging is this:

Companies don’t blog; people blog.

It sounds obvious, but many corporations get it wrong. They create sites
with a blog-like format but no personality. Their sites are updated frequently,
but without identifying who the people posting are. Or, they are posted
with intriguing thoughts and ideas, but don’t allow for public comments and
discussion on the site. A sure way to drive readers away is to write a blog
using a corporate voice rather than the discernible, unmistakable voice of a
human being. The key to business blogging is that people—not the
business—read, write, and respond. You can’t blog by committee. Formulate
your blogging techniques accordingly. (The 10 rules will help.)

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Businesses can join the blogging movement in several ways. First, they
can develop an outward-facing corporate blog or internally-written
employee blogs, which are supported by the organization to achieve
specific results—whether those results are boosting the thought
leadership of executives and employees to improve employee
satisfaction and morale by giving employees a platform to exercise their
voices, or to build better relationships through online conversations with
customers and constituents. Organizations may even choose not to blog
at all from a corporate perspective, but to instead support and encourage
employees in doing so on their own. Corporations are also using blogs
internally to facilitate knowledge management, collaboration, customer
relationship management, sales, and product development processes.

There are as many uses for blogs as there are people to write them.

But the point for business is: Conversations are already


taking place among the millions of blogs that you can tap
into. These conversations—about you, your industry, your
company, your competitors, and your market—will occur
whether you participate in them or not. Effective blogging
will help you to participate in the kind of conversations that
enhance your business, building relationships that make
people want to do business with you. You can engage your
prospects, better understand them, and even get them to ➔5
Figure 2: Microsoft’s respect and like you (if you are likeable to begin with, of
Robert Scoble
course). You can add wit, smarts, or information to blogs by
participating in blog comment areas often attached to each
post where possible. You can appoint your own Blogger in Residence,
Chief Blogging Officer, or “Technical Evangelist” (as Robert Scoble is for
Microsoft http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/) to represent your
organization in the discussion. You can support bloggers whom you feel
are doing interesting things by underwriting their blogs. You can
encourage your employees to meet the market in areas that interest
them outside of your products and services—giving employees a platform
for discussing things they’re passionate about with others who share
similar interests, just as Sun Microsystems’ thousand-plus employee
bloggers do.

Sun’s model is a powerful one. And where there is power there is risk.
That risk is inherent in the exercise of blogging. Someone can always
say something derogatory about your company, you, your products, or
your services. But chances are, if there is a reason, they already are
saying those things—with or without permission. By developing your
own organizational approach to blogging, you create the opportunity to
engage your critics and answer them. Depending upon the
circumstances, your answer could range from correcting

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misconceptions, because the bloggers were misinformed, to changing
your business model because they were absolutely right. All because
you are part of the conversation.

In addition to bringing you closer to your customers and their concerns,


blogging is one of the most reliable ways to gain search engine
prominence. You may have noticed when using Google or Yahoo that
blogs show up quite favorably in the search results for any given term.
That’s because search engines weigh highly those sites that are frequently
linked to and updated. Starting a corporate blog can drive traffic to your
existing business web site while building your personal brand.
Figure 3: Google Homepage

Because blogging is both a low-cost and high-yield feedback loop


between your business and your markets, it has already drawn a good
deal of attention and considerable investment from senior executives and
smart marketers at organizations such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google,
General Motors, Harvard Law School, the Dallas Mavericks basketball
team, AOL, Cisco, and many others. And it’s still true that most of today’s
blogging tools are either free or available for a minimal cost. Google’s
Blogger system (www.blogger.com), for example, will host your blog for
free on Blogspot, or you can host your blog on the server of your choice.
Other blogging tools, such as Typepad (www.typepad.com) and
Wordpress (http://wordpress.org), require a bit more technical knowledge,
but offer bloggers more customization options. ➔6

Blogging has potentially the lowest barrier to entry of any


communications medium to date aside from word of mouth, and offers
the farthest reach for the least cost when done right (for “right,” just see
the rules below). For this reason alone, there is no question that your
organization should be participating in the world of blogs.

This is no time not to be part of the conversation.

Ten Rules for Starting Your Corporate Blogging Off Right

The following guidelines are offered to make your entry into the
blogosphere a positive experience. Because blogging is as much art as
science, all rules are bendable. The wise approach is to glean best
practices first, and then customize based on your own style and
company goals.

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1. Read Before You Write.

The best way to start blogging is to start reading blogs. You can begin by
reading the blogs listed in Technorati’s Top 100 (www.technorati.com/
pop/blogs/)—but don’t trust that those are the only bloggers worth
reading, because that is simply not the case.

Because blogging is a bottom-up medium and does not by its nature


support hierarchies, looking at only “experts”—whether self-dubbed or
named by others—limits you unnecessarily; an artificial hierarchy of
anything doesn’t sit well with many bloggers. So don’t limit your reading
to the bloggers considered tops. You can find other bloggers by clicking
through the links on the blogrolls (usually sidebar links to other blogs) of
the blogs you enjoy reading. Chances are they have something in
common with the blog on which they are blogrolled, and you will find
interesting, relevant reading there as well.

Another way to find good blogs to read is to search Google for terms
you’re interested in, such as “knowledge management” or “supply
chains,” adding “blog” as another keyword. This will retrieve mostly blog-
related results, with links to a host of people talking about the topic
you’re interested in. You can also search Technorati and Blog Pulse
(http://blogpulse.com) using keywords in your industry to find blogs ➔7
discussing the most recent trends and events of relevance. Identify who
these blogs are linking to, and bookmark the blogs you like so that you
can add them to your blogroll when you begin blogging.

2. Links Are Key.

What made blogging different in the beginning, and what makes blogs
special today, are hyperlinks. Hyperlinks—the very core of the Web—are
an integral part of how online dialogue works.

Blogs join around common themes of interest and conversations via


hyperlinks. Typical blog posts contain links to other bloggers, to
mainstream news sources, and to articles or web sites related to their
topic of discussion. This makes blogging an inclusive medium rather than
an exclusive one (such as print), an exchange rather than a statement, a
dialogue rather than a monologue.

Some of the most active and popular bloggers are also the most prolific
linkers. It’s a curious fact that these bloggers attract sizable and loyal
audiences chiefly by pointing away from their own sites to material

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elsewhere on the Web. But embodied in that fact is the unique word-of-
mouth marketing secret of the blogosphere: the human urge to tell
people about things that interest us, adding our own impressions as we
do. This is the DNA of conversation, the connective chat that makes the
world go ’round. When you first start blogging, begin linking to
something of interest and relevance in your market, adding your own
observations. Repeat this regularly, and you will be surprised at how
quickly you can build your readership—and relationships.

Another way blogs guide readers through their areas of interests and
communities of choice is through the blogroll. Many blogs have
blogrolls, which are simply a list of the blogs they frequently read. Surf
through the blogrolls of the bloggers you like, and you are likely to find
other blogs that appeal to you. Similarly, when you begin blogging, start
a blogroll and add to it. A tool that makes establishing and adding to
blogrolls easy is Blogrolling.com (www.blogrolling.com).

3. Don’t Use Your Own Blog to Sing the Praises of Your Company.

A blog post is not a press release. And a blog is not a brochure. Readers
and participants in the blogosphere can instinctively sense promotional
spin and insincere product peddling. If you’re overtly promotional in your
blog, you will quickly lose your audience. Use your blog to engage your
markets in conversation, to talk about what matters to you—even if that ➔8
means you talk about sailing and security in the same week. You want to
be interesting and approachable, and talking about what you like helps
do that.

Your readers and blog colleagues are, above all else, people. They are
people who usually happen to work somewhere else, have certain
interests, and buy certain things (maybe a product or service you sell),
and who want to understand you. They want to know that the voice of
the blog comes from someone (or someones) who is genuine and
truthful—an intelligent, thoughtful, witty, and interesting someone.

Don’t blog from your business card title (unless promoting corporate
blogging is actually your job—as with Microsoft’s Technical Evangelist,
Robert Scoble); instead, blog from your areas of knowledge and interest.
Of course, your business is one of those interests—but it can’t be your
sole interest. Talking about your company’s key strengths and features
should be an occasional, even a rare, event. Talking about what you think
and what is important to you should be a matter of course. That is where
and how you engage readers.

4. Don’t Spam in Comments or Email.

As a related issue, one of the biggest mistakes those who are new to
blogging make is to jump into the comments of, or email to, a blogger

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with an overt sales or public relations pitch. The instinct is
understandable—you read something written by a blogger who seems
to understand your market, but perhaps they’re complaining about a
problem they’ve had, or a feature they wish they could find in a
commercial product. You think: “My product can help here,” and you
want to dive into the discussion to tout your wares or be the superhero
who solves everything. But stop for a second and think. Just as it is
considered gauche and disingenuous to overtly pump your own company
on your blog, it’s even worse to do it in someone else’s comments or
email inbox. Do not disrupt another blogger’s blog by abruptly (read:
rudely) pitching, proclaiming, or otherwise touting your company’s (or
your client’s) product or service. Don’t even think about it. Ever.

It is as important to be a good “listener” of a blog as it is to be an


interesting blogger. A conversation needs at least two people, and you
want to be sure you are welcoming the dialogue. Read blogs with care
and thought, looking for clues on what would be a response that would
generate and continue the conversation. Be relevant in your remarks, to
show that your interest is genuine and merely to promote your product
or services. People know when they are being heard and appreciated,
and when they are only being tolerated.

A crucial element of being a good listener to a blog—as with any form of


dialogue or conversation—is discerning what will best maintain the ➔9
interest, and then to respond in kind. This does not mean repetition
(unless you want clarification), but instead becoming really engaged in
the discussion. This usually has the effect of genuineness, and convinces
bloggers that you find them interesting and not merely an object to sell
something to. This is especially true should you wish to use humor. If
you are not sure if it is natural, appropriate, relevant, and benign, don’t.

5. Monitor What Bloggers Are Saying About You.

Blog monitoring is a powerful, if not yet fully defined, way for companies
to identify what their markets are saying about them. Blog monitoring
can tell you what the burning issues of your customers are, their likes
and dislikes, and where the company has an opportunity to respond to
blog buzz. It also helps you keep an ear to your competitors. You can do
basic blog monitoring by entering your blog or company web site URL or
company name into the search field of a blog search engine like Technorati
Figure 4: BlogPulse Homepage and read through the resulting posts in which other bloggers are linking to
you. You can also create watchlists that email summaries of activity to you.

The next step, comprehensive blog monitoring, is both an art and a


science. It entails gathering and employing information from a variety of
sources—from blog search engines (where you might have to sift

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through countless no-value spam blogs); to news aggregators (see Rule
10), where you can track specific information and subscribe to RSS
syndication feeds that will allow you to keep tabs on what is being said
on the blogs in your industry and markets; to blog comments; to back-
channel, real-time conversations among bloggers on chat sites (IRC, for
example)—all of the many places bloggers gather to talk within, among,
across, and even outside of their blogs.

This more sophisticated approach to blog monitoring requires an intimate


knowledge of the blogosphere, of which bloggers are discussing what
topics, and of what the blog buzz is during any given week. Automated
blog monitoring tools and services are emerging; few, however, combine
the finesse of traditional media tracking products by offering a way to track
specific conversations within and among blogs. Pricing on these products
is also a moving target and depends largely if they are part of larger media
monitoring services or stand-alone blog-oriented products. The fact is,
monitoring blogs comprehensively still requires human skills—direct
blogging experience, a keen eye for high-interest topics, search expertise,
an instinct for following the link trail among the blogs, and the knowledge
of your industry and business necessary to analyze, understand, and report
the information that’s most meaningful to the business.

6. Don’t Do Denial.
➔ 10
It’s tempting to jump to the defense of your company or product when
you come upon a discussion where bloggers are criticizing them. Think
carefully before you comment or post. Maintaining good blogger
relations depends on how you respond to the bad as well as the good.
Therefore, before you respond, review the details internally with your
product people and communications staff to find out whether the
bloggers’ critiques have merit. Often, you’ll find that they do. In fact,
unless you are being directly, personally attacked in a blog, chances are
you can find some useful truth in the observations of bloggers. Take the
“bad news” as guidance for your product and corporate improvement
initiatives. Remaining in denial about either the perceptions or the
realities of your product’s or company’s performance won’t win you any
points in the world of blogs—and ultimately won’t improve the fortunes
of your company.

Ideally, the response should come from your most expert resource
within the organization; for example, on controversial issues, the expert
within the company should join the discussion and explain any
misconceptions. This doesn’t usually mean your marketing or PR
person—unless he or she happens to be the best qualified person to
respond. Once you have formulated a response, though, your marketing

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or PR experts can make sure it addresses the criticism or concern
candidly and appropriately. Always keep in mind that it is not a corporate
voice but a personal one that bloggers want to read.

If your organization was unresponsive to a problem, apologize briefly but


comprehensively, and then tell bloggers what you are going to do to
make things better. If you say you will improve things, you’d better follow
through. Bloggers are like elephants; they never forget. And if they do,
Google is there to remember for them.

A close kin to Denial is coverup. There is nothing that cuts credibility in


the blogosphere faster than hiding the truth. Bloggers are notorious for
being the first with breaking news because of their passion for sniffing
out hypocrisy and using a variety of sources—including the Web—to vet
their opinions among other bloggers. Blogger Matt Drudge broke the Bill
Clinton and Monica Lewinsky story. Bloggers were responsible for the
fall of Dan Rather, and the resignation of CNN news chief Eason Jordan.
It stands to reason, then, that you and your company aren’t likely to slip
by with a casual white lie or sleight of hand.

Transparency matters in blogging. Therefore, if you have relationships


with bloggers whom you read, or even underwrite (while keeping your
hands off their content, of course), proudly say so. If there’s a crisis
brewing and you are consulting with your crisis management team on ➔ 11
appropriate measures, decide what you will say on your blog as well—
because bloggers will be the first bunch knocking (or linking) with the
story. This kind of inherent requirement for transparency and disdain for
spin is one of the biggest benefits of blogging over mainstream media
for readers, and at the same time perhaps one of the hardest things for
corporations to come to grips with.

7. Comments—Tread Carefully.

More lightning-quick—if not long-lasting—damage has been done to


corporate and personal reputation in blog comments than anywhere else
online. More honest disagreement and deep understanding has also
been reached in that same venue. Because they are a dynamic and
accessible discussion forum, as simple as clicking the “Comments” link
on a blog post, you should think carefully about how you craft the
comments you leave on others’ blogs; it is not always necessary to resist
your urge to comment on controversial or hot topics, just because of the
risk of confrontation and cross-examination by other commentators (not
to mention the occasional flamer or troll). But comments are indeed a
double-edged sword: Because they are widely read and often-cited areas
of discussion that facilitate the passionate exchange of ideas, they are
prone to get ugly.

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If you choose to have comments on your blog, most blogging tools will
let you decide which posts you wish to allow comments on and which
you don’t. Be cautious about turning off comments on some and not on
others, though. The best strategy is either to decide to have them, or
decide not to. Waffling is not well tolerated by the cynical, engaged
audience you’ll find online. And once you make a controversial or cutting
comment, you either have to stick by it or decide to admit your error.
Trying to erase history by editing your comments (and especially the
comments of others) is wishful thinking and never works.

Blogging takes courage. The least risky choice for corporate blogs is to get your
feet wet in the blogworld before you start offering a commenting facility on
your weblog. The bravest and most admired choice is to host comments and
deal eloquently and honestly with both the positive and negative feedback.

8. Set Your Employees Free (Because They Already Are).

You may not know it, but it is likely that there are employees at your
company already blogging—some for years now. If your employees are
not blogging, then certainly your current and potential future partners,
investors, and customers are. And bet that your competitors are doing it
too. Even if they haven’t started actively blogging yet, they are most
certainly reading blogs and tracking the online discussions in the ➔ 12
markets you share with them. In fact, research reports suggest that
between 27% and 40% of online adults read blogs. So encourage—or at
least allow—your employees to blog.

Clinging to the illusion that you can control what your employees say, and
to whom, won’t help your business. You are better served to empower your
employees as Sun has done, or as IBM has recently done. Encourage your
employees to take risks, but to do so responsibly. Foster their desire to
communicate with your markets around the things that interest them. You
can help steer employees down your preferred blogging path, and protect
your organization from some unwanted surprises, by developing a simple
set of blogging guidelines and policies. See the Key Corporate Blogging
Resources section of this paper for examples from companies that have
developed them.

9. Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing and PR.

Corporate blogging is a dish best served alongside other communications


tools. In other words, blogging is only part of the answer to how to better
connect with your markets, your customers, your employees, your partners,
and your influencers using the Internet. Your blog should support and be
considered an integrated part of your other corporate communications initiatives.

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Where you have public relations, you need blogger relations. When you
attend conferences, see which bloggers are also attending or speaking,
and make a point of catching up with them in person. Where you have
calls to action in your print marketing materials, think also of your blog:
include the address of your weblog in these materials. Likewise, include
links to downloadable white papers, research, and sites of value on your
blog. Give readers real names and contact information for subject matter
experts in your company. Your web site should link to your blog, and your
blog to your web site. In other words, treat your weblog as any other
essential communications channel.

10. Aggregators Are Great—But Start Small.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a complementary technology that can


supplement your blogging efforts. RSS enables tools called aggregators
to receive and display updated information from multiple blogs that you
like to read. In essence, you “subscribe” to your favorite blogs using an
aggregator, and can then read the most up-to-date articles from them
within a single web-based program, or even via email. Aggregators like
Bloglines (www.bloglines.com), Newsgator (www.newsgator.com), and
Figure 5: Bloglines Homepage Feed Demon (http://www.bradsoft.com/feeddemon), help you follow the
most recent news and blogs easily, from a single place—rather than
surfing links across the blogosphere. ➔ 13

As efficient as RSS and aggregators are, there is a danger in subscribing


to so many blogs that the chore of following them becomes more
daunting than the benefits of accomplishing it. If this happens, go back
to the blogs listed on your blogroll and start from there, reading them
each day, or see what the most interesting conversations are by
reviewing current news on Technorati. The point is to keep reading.
Sometimes missing a few days means missing an entire debate, or
opportunity to contribute. To participate, you must read regularly and
without fail. Aggregators can help.

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There’s a Blog in Your Future (even if it’s not your own)

If your organization is ready to step up to the blog


“Self-expression must plate, start reading blogs. Do it in your free time, or
pass into communication make it part of your daily schedule. But do it. And when
for its fulfillment.” a topic or trend emerges that you can’t stay quiet
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) about, it’s probably time to jump in.

Start slowly. Read extensively. Post frequently. Link liberally.

And if you determine that a corporate weblog isn’t part of your


communications strategy, the blogosphere and bloggers as a whole
should be. Blogging is another channel through which you can
communicate with your key audiences. Dialogues are taking place online
at the speed of links, many of which would be richer for your
participation in them. If your organization truly has something of value to
offer, then your people likely have something of value to add to the
blogworld. Many are probably already there. (And so, by the way, are
your competitors.) Recognizing and encouraging that participation is your
company’s best next step.

Whether or not you agree with the authors (and blogging pioneers) of ➔ 14

the often-quoted Cluetrain Manifesto (www.cluetrain.com), the evolution


of the Internet over the last five years has proved the text’s most
important thesis true: Markets are indeed conversations.

Your markets are already talking online. Blogging is your chance to join them.

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Key Corporate Blogging Resources
Resource Description Link
About the Blogosphere
Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati The Growth of Blogs, March 2005 http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000298.html
Naked Conversations Upcoming book by Robert Scoble http://redcouch.typepad.com
(Microsoft) and Shel Israel
Scoble’s Corporate Weblog A what to do/what not to do primer on http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/02/26.html
Manifesto blogging
CorporateBlogging.info Six types of corporate blogs http://www.corporateblogging.info/2004/08/six-
types-of-business-blogs.asp
CorporateBlogging.info Why blog? http://www.corporateblogging.info/basics/why/
Media Bistro Elizabeth Spiers’ community on media http://mediabistro.com
news and careers
Technology Review Sun’s Blog Heaven http://www.techreview.com/articles/05/04/issue/
brief_sun.asp
The New PR Wiki CEOs who are blogging, by country http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/
Resources/CEOBlogsList
The New PR Wiki RSS resources http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/
Resources/RSSResources
PR Week Interview with Neville Hobson of http://www.prweek.com/news/news_story_free.
“Hobson & Holtz” cfm?ID=238361&site=3
➔ 15
Business Blogging Policies and Guidelines
GM’s Blogging Rules General Motors Blogging Code of Ethics http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/about.html
Blogging @ IBM IBM’s blogging guidelines http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/
dw_blog_comments.jspa?blog=351&entry=81328

Yahoo Yahoo’s personal blog guidelines [PDF] http://jeremy.zawodny.com/yahoo/yahoo-blog-


guidelines.pdf
Hill & Knowlton H&K’s blogging policies and guidelines http://weblogs.netcoms.com/blogs/niallcook/
archive/2005/05/19/279.aspx
Plaxo Plaxo’s Public Internet communications http://blog.plaxoed.com/?p=41
policy
Ray Ozzie of Groove The blogworld’s first blogging policies http://www.ozzie.net/blog/2002/08/24.html
Network were introduced by Groove Networks
(now owned by Microsoft, where Ozzie
is now CTO)
Feedster Feedster’s corporate blogging policy http://feedster.blogs.com/corporate/2005/03/
corporate_blogg.html
Sun Microsystems Sun’s policy on public discourse http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/
200x/2004/05/02/Policy
San Francisco Chronicle Writing the Codes on Blogs— http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/
Companies Figure Out What’s Okay a/2005/06/13/BLOG.TMP
and What’s Not

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Resource Description Link
Business Blogs You Should Know About
GM FastLane General Motors’ blog on all things GM http://fastlane.gmblogs.com
and auto industry. Well received.
Sun’s Blogs Sun’s access to its 1,300 employee http://www.blogs.sun.com/roller/main.do
blogs, where employees are invited to
write about anything
Elizabeth Albrycht Liz Albrycht’s corporate PR blog http://ringblog.typepad.com/corporatepr
Business 2.0 Blog Weblog of Business 2.0 on what works http://business2.blogs.com/business2blog
and what doesn’t
Stonyfield Farms Several blog communities http://www.stonyfield.com/weblog
Other Blogs You Should Know About
Elisa Camahort A blogger/expert at online marketing http://workerbeesblog.blogspot.com
for small businesses and non-profits
Flackster Blog-informed PR advice and insight http://www.corante.com/flackster
from Michael O’Connor Clarke Corante itself is also a great resource:
http://www.corante.com
Boing Boing The de facto standard of reporting on http://www.boingboing.net
the weird wired culture.
Rebecca Blood Often referred to as the mother of http://www.rebeccablood.net
blogging, Blood published an early book
on the topic. She still codes her own blog
rather than using a blogging tool. ➔ 16
All About George New media and culture perspectives http://www.allaboutgeorge.com
JOHO David Weinberger’s Journal of the http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/index.html
Hyperlinked Organization—the blog
world’s philosopher-in-residence, and a
Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for
Internet & Society.
Doc Searls Respected blogger, technologist, Linux http://doc.weblogs.com
expert, and cultural commentator
Burningbird No stranger to controversy, Shelly http://weblog.burningbird.net
Powers is a technologist, artisan, and
early blogging pioneer.
Lisa Williams Great information on blogging, RSS, http://www.cadence90.com/wp/index.php
and life
Mena Trott Blog tool pioneer, co-founder and http://mena.typepad.com
president of Six Apart.
Cameron Barrett An early blogger with a first post dating http://www.camworld.com
back to 1997, whose 1999 essay,
“Anatomy of a Weblog,” helped define
the concept of the weblog.

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Resource Description Link
Corporate Voices
Scobleizer The Microsoft Geek blogger, Robert http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011
Scoble, is the blog liaison for MS, with
a down-to-earth voice. His role is
outside of marketing and PR, so he can
remain critical of the company when
necessary. He’s the outsider’s insider.
Randy’s Journal Randy Baseler, VP Marketing for Boeing http://www.boeing.com/randy
Charlene Li of Forrester Forrester analyst who blogs http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli
Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Sun’s president Jonathan Schwartz has http://www.blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jonathan
become well known for his musings on
industry trends, Sun’s strategy and
criticisms of its rivals.
Blog Maverick Home of Mark Cuban, outspoken http://www.blogmaverick.com
owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks
Blog Search Tools
Technorati Blogging’s first blog search engine http://www.technorati.com
BlogPulse Intelliseek’s blog search engine http://blogpulse.com/
PubSub A combination of a search tool and http://www.pubsub.com
aggregator, PubSub lets you search on
keywords and get RSS feeds that match.
DayPop Site that tracks the most linked-to http://www.daypop.com/ ➔ 17
news stories and posts in the
blogosphere.

The Content Factor


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info@contentfactor.com
web :: www.thecontentfactor.com
© 2005 Jeneane D. Sessum, The Content Factor blog :: http://contentfactor.blogspot.com

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