Monday, May 01, 2006

Forrester on Blogging

Charlene Li at Forrester Research has put together a nice report on how businesses can effectively utilize blogging (free, but registration is required for non-clients), titled "Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal?." The report describes the growing popularity of blogs; why companies should consider blogging; how companies can take advantage of blogs; and best practices in corporate blogging.

A few of Charlene's key findings:

- Although overall blog readership is still a small percentage of the total population, blog readers and bloggers themselves are highly influential.

- "Blogs...entered the common mainstream this summer during the political conventions." While there's no reason to doubt the accuracy of Forrester's consumer research, this statement is somwhat misleading. Blogs have been highly popular and widely read within specific communities (for example, IT, marketing, and politics) for considerably longer.

- Companies, particularly public companies, should, at a minimum, monitor what is being said about them on blogs. This seems like obvious advice -- companies should monitor their coverage across all media -- but it is commonly ignored.

- Companies can't stop their employees from blogging, but they can and should provide guidelines as to what is appropriate and permissible. That certainly makes sense; one could say the same things about Web surfing or company email usage.

- Internal blogs are a great way to keep project teams informed.

- "Companies that present a human face have an advantage." Blogs are informal conversations with customers. Companies that are comfortable with such conversations should find success with blogs. Companies that aren't comfortable with such conversations won't have customers for long, regardless.

Charlene also writes her own blog.

If your company is wondering how blogs fit into an overall communications strategy, this report is a great place to start, along with Why Write a Blog for Business? on WebMarketCentral.

*****

Terms: Charlene Li, business blogging, business blog strategy

Web marketing resources and news: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

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