BloggingI am new to this latest of web innovations, in fact if I am doing it, there must be something that the kids are already doing that replaces web logs. But if business week writes about it, and the National Association of Manufacturers purports to do it, it must be main stream enough to discuss what are its next steps of progression - - especially as it relates to business. I am currently attempting to figure out how to make blogging a business advantage, by finding the middle ground between advertising and dissemination of proprietary information, basically a blog is a form of marketing. All marketing companies should have the skills to market via blogging. The next question is whether all companies that market should also blog. Marketing is a core exercise in the business of organizations, and innovations abound in the practices of it. Blogs and RSS feeds (though have never used one) are the replacement for spams and "targeted" e-mail. I have used such e-mail for "blasts," but find the most effective form when a user asks to be e-mailed to, and even that is a dying practice. Unless there is content, and not just information, it becomes difficult to imagine why the end-user would continue to want random information. This is what the Internet is, a bunch of mainly untargeted information. Blogs can do so much more for targeting by giving a voice to a previously unalive web-site. This can come from anyone with something to say that brings a point of view of value to the user of a web-site. There are not that many companies doing this type of work, but it seems inevitable that as marketing is called to do more than just product marketing and advertising, that blogs will be a natural extension of the overall medium for the value propostion of the company.
What is Blog protocol? Blogs should be light and to the point, and if a writer cannot meld these two requirements, they will face an unresponsive audience. It is not always necessary to receive feedback after a blog has been posted, for some of the best posters of blogs do not come under the duress of "flamers." If you would like to read about a corporate policy for blogging, I will direct you to Sun Microsystems' version, maintained by Tim Bray:
Essentially, you should create your own voice that represents your business in an effective manner, and list out the topics that mean the most to your audience(s), and then begin a blog. Blogging is just as natural as writing e-mails - - e-mails with the same kind of readership as a Reply All may have, so be astute at what you think means something to someone. It is ultimately your name that lives on in Internet blogging databases, and your company's reputation that will be impacted by your efforts. Don't be shy, and don't be overly cautious, be positive, and learn from other bloggers. Link to other bloggers, and feel free to sing the praises of your business. In short order, blogging may be more prevalent within organizations as it is with individuals. Only a select few, however, will gain the readership to be relevant. Now is the time to make a run at it.