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Friday, October 26, 2007

Guest Post: The Emergence of Business Blogging

Our good friend and fellow blogger, Jason Keeling, kindly agreed to share his views on the emergence of business blogging. Thanks, Jason!

In the 1990s Web sites emerged as the newest tool in which businesses and organizations could communicate to their target audiences. Today it’s rare to see an advertisement that does not direct consumers to some sort of Web site. However, the standard Web site could eventually become a thing of the past, given evolving online technologies and consumer preferences. The challenge for traditional Web sites is that they typically provide only one-way communication from the company to the viewer. This was fine in early stages of the Internet, but the Web is becoming a place for social interaction, not just consumption of information.

Given this phenomenon, the “blog” is becoming an ideal medium for businesses to market and differentiate themselves. A blog is essentially the same thing as a Web site, but with a few important differences, given that blogs are simpler to update and they usually allow viewers to respond to the information provided. Such two-way communication is often intimidating to companies used to completely controlling the content on their sites.

Blogs originated as a medium for individuals to share personal information, experiences, and opinions. Although this is still the most common perception of what constitutes a blog, it is important to realize that the business community is beginning to use this medium as well. Corporations such as Dell (Direct2Dell Blog), Southwest Airlines (Nuts About Southwest Blog), and Sony (Sony Electronics Blog) have recognized that building customer loyalty requires communicating with their audience, not just to them.

Jason Keeling is a public relations consultant and founder of aBetterWestVirginia.com, a blog focused on culture, economy, and government.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Pattie said...

Jason: Who do you think is doing the "corporate blogger" thing well? This is a big question for me because I am a writer and am in many discussions with clients about do's and don'ts of corporate blogging. My feeling is that if it's done with transparency and authenticity, then it's a really great tool. I'm having trouble finding examples of this on the web, however. Any additional recommendations beyond the companies you mentioned? Thanks.

9:42 AM

 
Anonymous J. Keeling said...

Pattie: The above mentioned are best examples of "corporate blogs." For greater insight on the matter see the book "Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers." It goes in depth regarding the "transparency" issue you mention, along with providing additional insights.

5:53 PM

 
Blogger Skip Lineberg said...

Pattie and Jason,

Thanks for your comments on this great topic!

Throwing my .02 into the mix, I am a fan of the Forrester Research blog, which is published by Charlene Li. It's listed in our blogroll.

Skip

10:18 AM

 

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