Blogging for Business – Crazy or Crazy Like a Fox?

January 8, 2007

If you haven’t heard of blogging, you live on the planet Jupiter. If you don’t read blogs, and think that they have no legitimate business application, you have lots of company. If, however, you believe that blogging is a powerful business tool, well, you have some company, too.

There are books about blogging for business, magazine cover stories about it and “Top 10 lists” that include it. Just as many folks think blogging will never be a viable business tool. In fact, some very bright and savvy business people have said, “why in the world would I want to start a blog?

There are lots of opinions (and lots of them are on blogs, not surprisingly). John Battelle, author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, has written in Business 2.0, “Blogs will soon become a staple in the information diet of every serious businessperson.” Others voice concerns over the potential downsides and risks inherent in this new medium. Daniel Lyons has written in Forbes Magazine, “Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.” I’d call that a difference of opinion!

Sheryl and I will be doing a workshop about the power of Internet resources and “information literacy” at Denver University next week for Professor Daniel J. Connolly’s Business 1040 class.

Below is the pre-work assignment for the class. Connolly’s students kinda’ have to do the assignment, but anyone reading this post is welcome to chime in. What’s your opinion? What’s your experience? There’s a place to comment and/or leave your answer to the assignment below this post. We welcome all comments.

Assignment for BUS 1040 Section 5

For this assignment, determine whether you agree or disagree with the following statement:
Blogging can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small business.

Quote at least three sources to support your conclusions. Start your search at the resources below according to the first letter of your last name. You may “link” elsewhere from your starting point – but you have to start there:

  • A-F – Start with Google, Yahoo, Ask.com or Live.com
  • G-M – Start with Google Adwords (those “Sponsored Links” at the top and right side of any Google search)
  • N-R – Start with CopyBlogger (a blog about business blogging) (www.copyblogger.com)
  • S-Z – Start with Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)

Have fun everyone – and post your comments below.


  1. My own experience as a one-person consultant is that blogging has helped establish my reputation and extended my network. If anyone would like to see a list of all National Speakers Association blogs (worldwide professional speakers and consultants) see my blogroll at http://www.exec-comms.com/blog

  2. Blogs are inevitably going to become a business necessity. If a company uses them regularly, it allows the employees to communicate ideas, but it needs to be well organized on the company website. “Business Blogs are a corporate tool for communicating with customers or employees to share knowledge and expertise.” (http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/ecommerce/a/bblogs.htm) Business Weekly explores the inevitable: blogs are “going to shake up just about every business — including yours. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shipping paper clips, pork bellies, or videos of Britney in a bikini, blogs are a phenomenon that you cannot ignore, postpone, or delegate. Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite.” (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_18/b3931001_mz001.htm)
    Business blogging is not only good for communicating within the company, but with customers. “Blogging is becoming a more integral part of business. It is a way to get a conversational human voice behind your product, engage in discussion, and actively participate in the online conversations revolving around your business. By allowing comments on your entries, you can interact with your customers like never before.” (http://www.room214.com/social-media.html?gclid=COrvxryC6YkCFR7sYAodbCDiFw)
    Blogging is a new phenomenon that business are going to need to eventually need to use more regularly as an effective tool of communication.

  3. Blogging is a good thing for business overall. According to Wikipedia, blogging helps to create a healthier work environment. The blog since it is open to all those who wish to respond it does not leave anyone out of the decision making process. Wikipedia also suggested it was cheaper than e- mail. I find all this information ironic since my understanding of Wikipedia is that it is a form of a blog and anyone can offer or add their insights on a subject. But this is a money saving operation for the user instead of paying for an encyclopedia. Not only do blogs save time by bypassing e-mail and give the work place a feeling of collaboration. Blogging externally can be good for businesses too. Backbonemedia 2005 did a survey about blogging where 82% did not receive negative PR. The survey also showed blogging was not just for corporations 73% of bloggers were from a company 1 -100. Blogging I think as this negative reputation because like all new technology all the kinks have not been worked out. There are legal issues about freedom of speak. But as Electronic Frontier Foundation said, “Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn’t use the law to stifle legitimate free expression.” Blogger is just a new technology and not completely understood.

  4. I found positive reviews of blogging as a business tool on Wikipedia. Blogs create an open forum for employees to easily communicate within a business, or to increase public relations and networking outside of the business. Blogs are quick and efficient and allow for quality communication in a hectic world. However, I still feel that blogs are most successful when discussing politics or news. This is my personal experience and I must admit I definitely lack experience in the corporate world. It seems to me that blogging is a very savvy business tool and will have a great part in the future.

  5. Since I didn’t know what “blogging” was until I looked it up on the internet after recieving this assignment, I really didn’t know how to go about answering the statement above. Only being aloud to use Google Adwords also limited my ability in taking a stand and finding sources to support my opinion.

    According to Room 214 blogging “a way to get a conversational human voice behind your product, engage in discussion, and actively participate in the online conversations revolving around your business”. According to this source, blogging seems to be a benificial way to recieve direct feedback from the customers about a business which beats waiting for mail returned feedback or statisitical reports based on customer interests.

    Another positive aspect of businesses incoporating blogging is that it has an RSS feed ability. This feature “provides a way for interested readers to stay up to date with a company’s latest news articles. By subscribing to a feed, the user is notified as soon as there is new content.” For a business this is an important feature as it keeps their customers informed and makes them feel connected and important within their business by recieving updates.

    Certain blog programs such as Civixx are designed to “maximize advertising opportunities that monetize user-generated content without annoying users.” Civixx had reports of large returns on their advertisements, yet did not post on their website the cost of posting advertisements through there service would cost. Depending on what the investement costs to network business through these blog sites, this could prove to be a powerful tool.

    On another website (traction software)that provides blogging to businesses a posted article makes the simple statement “collaboration tools can benefit almost any organization”. This article suggests that blogging can be a powerful tool to businesses in creating a network and getting their name “out there” and into the minds of their consumers. The same article also suggests that “anyone – from your security guards to your database engineers – can use the system” which is important when projecting the costs of inserting this tool into your business. Training is minimal to recive benefits from this tool, yet can be used at a higher more indepth level for those that want to maximize the service. Along with customization, blogging can simply be “created” to fit the needs of each individual business.

    After reading feedback on blogging used as a business tool, I would agree that it has the potential to be a powerful tool if used correctly. A business that is preparing to take on blogging, must research and understand what they plan to “get out of” this tool and how they are going to use it to maximize their profits and networking.

  6. I highly agree with the idea that blogging can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small business, because blogging is a way to understand each other’s own personal experiences with technology. Blogging is communication, competition, and much influence with other bloggers. For some, communication through the internet might be easier than one-on-one and blogs are promoting technological communication. According to “Why Linking To Other Blogs Is Critical” on http://www.copyblogger.com, blogging exudes confidence. A person’s confidence in a blog might lead to them influencing others to write and conduct business just as well. Blogging can also use humor with technology and business to get the important point across. With internet blogs, people are allowing themselves to be vulnerable to any discussion and open topic persuasion. According to the article “The Return of Tutorial Marketing,” it’s not about telling people a story they want to hear, it’s also about how they want to hear it. Blogging is a tool that businesses can use to their advantage by easily persuading other businesses and people. By using blogs, people can use them to their benefit with communication and competition. Blogging can be an extremely influential business tool.

  7. I think blogging could be a very usefu tool for businesses. Especially as a place for customers to comment about products or give suggestions to companies. Blogs allow them to interact with one another. For example, if there is a problem with a product, people can search on a blog to see if anyone else has had the same problem and if they know what to do about it. My dad has used several forums like this to get help with car or computer problems.

    The only downside to a blog is that sometimes there can be a delayed response. If you have an urgent question, it isn’t likley to be answered right away as it would with an instant messaging format. Wikipedia for example described them more as journals rather than an instand form of communication. The Washington Post uses blogs for readers and writers to interact or leave comments about interesting or controversile articles. Even from a general search of “business” “blog,” thousands of sites already come up for “Business Blogging Consulting Firms.” I think it is obvious that this isn’t becoming a big thing, it already is.

  8. I still have no strong feels for or against blogging – I think it comes down to how the blogger, business, and readers all use or interpret the blog. According to Blog Works (http://www.blogworks.org/archives/corporate_blogs/), “if you want to attract intelligent clientele (read: any corporate client), you absolutely must have every letter and punctuation mark in its respective place.” As we have discussed in class, it is easy to write one way on AOL Instant Messenger or in an e-mail to friends, but that type of language is not always appropriate, therefore if the author of a blog writes that way on a corporate website it could easily make the entire corporation look less professional, trustworthy, or simply inadequate. I think this could be extended beyond punctuation and spelling and sill over into too much of the author’s opinions coming through a blog. He or she may feel more comfortable when protected by a computer screen and say things he or she might not otherwise say in a real life situation. Some blogs, such as CompuServe have a disclaimer that warns readers that the blog is not a reflection of the opinions of the entire corporation, but rather of those of just one person within the company. However, the converse of this argument is that blogs give personality and life to a corporation. Instead of reading a scripted, politically correct version of what a company is, blogs allow outsiders to see what the employees are really like. The Cadbury Schweppes blog gives first hand accounts of recent graduate trainees so as to answer questions for future trainees. After reading theses accounts I really came to no conclusion as to whether or not blogs are beneficial or detrimental to corporations, it all depends on how they are used.

  9. According to copyblogger.com, there is no uncertainty as to whether or not businesses and entrepreneurs alike should use blogs. This website and the links it provides definitely show a pretty one-sided argument as to why blogs are pertinent to a successful business. One such link connected me to an article that discussed Bill Gates and his views on blogging. When such a high profile and innovative businessman such as Bill Gates takes a stance on an issue, his views are highly respected. In his 2004 CEO summit address he declared that “websites and email were outmoded means of business communication with blogs and RSS being the answer.” Bill Gates success as an entrepreneur and business mogul leads me to believe that when he feels that blogs are the future of business, they truly will result in business success.
    Another writer found on copyblogger.com was a man by the name of Kevin O’Keefe. Several of his articles dealt with lawyers and their take on blogging. In one such article, many lawyers expressed their disheartenment with blogs because they felt that linking to competitors blogs and sharing information with them was the equivalent of attorney suicide. However, O’Keefe’s thoughts were quite the contrary in that he believed blogging would never lead to the death of a businessman, but rather not blogging would weaken your career and leave you in shambles in such an innovative world. Linking to other blogs in a businessperson’s field of business allows that person to become more “valuable…to (their) target audience” while adding to their credibility as a well-rounded professional.
    A third expert found on copyblogger.com was Darren Rowse. Rowse once again felt that blogging was essential to success; however, he brought in another talking point in that businesspeople could use blogs as one source of income. He believes that people can use blogs to “earn an income” and “spread their interests across multiple revenue streams so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.” When blogs are used successfully, they not only add to a person’s reputability, but also they add to a person’s pocket book.

  10. Blogging can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small business.
    I believe this statement to be extremely true. Through blogging reading a person’s true feelings is easier because the writing is not as formalized. The quote below that I found gives more assurance to the way that I have previously felt.
    “Blogs do two things that Web magazines like Slate and Salon simply cannot. First off, blogs are personal. Almost all of them are imbued with the temper of their writer. This personal touch is much more in tune with our current sensibility than were the opinionated magazines and newspapers of old.” (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.05/mustread.html?pg=2)
    Sometimes the smallest businesses run into trouble being taken seriously in how knowledgeable they realistically are. Through blogging they are able to showcase their expertise to a more extensive audience, ultimately making them more successful as a company.
    “Business blogs provide your small business with a chance to share your expertise and knowledge with a larger audience. An opportunity to connect with a wider audience and build a community which is a powerful benefit for consultants and knowledge workers.”
    I feel that companies that have taken Apple’s idea of forming a community are certainly bound to be more successful. Not only does it get your product out in the world more but it also creates customer brand loyalty. People that become loyal to one company generally will be that way for life.
    “When a company can get their audience to feel as though they are part of a community then they are more likely to succeed in selling their product or service. The Apple community scoops up every new technology that Apple brings out. Very few companies could say the same since it has become too easy for us to switch to the competition.” (http://businesslogs.com/best_practices/the_business_benefits_of_blogging.php)

  11. I believe that blogs can be a useful marketing tool for small businesses. They can allow you to give customers information about your company. It can also be a site for feedback from customers. The possibilities are endless.

    “invention, a Chicago based marketing, promotions and PR firm, helps corporations market their products and services to working women. Explore re:invention’s blog, a toolbox for and about working women, and learn how women-targeted public relations and marketing can boost your company’s sales and profits.”http://reinventioninc.blogspot.com/

    “Small business owners need good information and resources. They are often juggling so many tasks that they don’t have time to browse the web looking for news and information. Blogs can be a great source for you”http://www.passionforbusiness.com/blogs/

    “The blogosphere, as all things blog-related are collectively known, has allowed businesses of all sizes to communicate with their customers and audiences in a very immediate way. Because of its journal-like structure, a blog’s content can be updated continuously with no more effort than it takes to type a Microsoft Word document.”

  12. Blogging is an excellent tool for businesses. Not only can it help contact between employees and administrators or customers and the company, it is an excellent communication tool that is readily accessible to most.

    “The Times’s Barbaro wrote yesterday that Wal-Mart is including bloggers in its media relations strategies, counseled by the PR firm Edelman.” -http://www.blogworks.org/archives/good_blog_bad_blog/

    “Business blogging continues to gain momentum and acceptance as part of an overall integrated business strategy.” -http://blogsite.com/solutions?gclid=CIS4__a-6okCFQc6SQodKHEEGQ

    “There are over 8 million businesses in the United States alone, with each one trying to stand-out from the crowd and system.”
    -http://h20325.www2.hp.com/blogs/jantsch/?grow their market share. Here to help you with that daunting task is HP Guest Blogger John Jantsch, who is a marketing coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing jumpid=ex_hpwwipg_yahoo_wwdiy&ppc=45B0D7EAA68447BFBC628DB4E664C44E|{ovmtc:s:s:c}

  13. Although I do not know a whole lot about blogs or blogging, I am sure that if used in the right way blogs could be a very powerful tool and resource for businesses. Technology is constantly updating and changing, and “business blogging continues to gain momentum and acceptance as part of an overall integrated business strategy”. Personally, I have never used a blog, but after reading about them, it seem like blogs are easy to use, and have quite a few benefits for companies. They seem to be much cheaper then running and maintaining a web site. It is a good way for companies to communicate not only within themselves, but “professional blogging is an affective way to attract new customers and reinforce client relationships.” Blogs are affective for this purpose because they are, “community-oriented Web site that invites participation and collaboration between the authors of the site and its readers.” I understand now why companies are switching over to blogging. Blogs can definitely be a powerful, helpful tool if for a business.

  14. Blogging can be a very useful tool for businesses. Blogging allows companies to openly converse with competitors and share vital information that can benefit one’s business. According to Keven O’Keefe, a pro-blog lawer, “Blogs are the same darn thing – discourse on the law. It’s this discourse that further enhances your reputation as an expert and grows your business. Not commenting about what other lawyers in your area of the law are blogging about is shooting yourself in the foot” (http://kevin.lexblog.com/2007/01/law-blog-basics/linking-to-and-blogging-about-competitors-blogs-is-smart/). Jamie Spencer, an attorny from Austin, Texas, also points out the benefits of blogs in the law industry: “Good blogs can provide the public with the information they need to make well informed decisions about any number of problems and issues that life throws at us, and lawyer blogs are the rule here not the exception” (http://blog.austindefense.com/2007/01/articles/lawyers-in-austin/more-austin-criminal-law-blogs/).
    Blogging also provides a cheap alternative to advertising aspects of your businesss that set you apart from your competitors. Instead of setting up expensive websites, business can market their product inexpensively through blogs. “Joining in on a conversation that naturally compares and contrasts your style and expertise with that of your peers is smart marketing. More importantly, it exudes confidence” (http://www.copyblogger.com/why-linking-to-other-blogs-is-critical/#more-264).

  15. I personally have never written a blog before but in my other research classes I have come across multiple different blogs. From my recent research I have learned that blogs aren’t just for lonely people with nothing better to do it’s for corporations and small businesses as well. Companies can “use blogs to engage with their customers or to find new ones.” Individuals starting up their own small companies can use blogs to “share their individual passions” about their company to the world. I personally think blogs are a good way for smaller companies to get started because “ a blog is a powerful, cost-effective alternative to a website or email newsletter.” In the future if I ever decide to start up my own company I will definitely use a blog in order to advertise my company and its functions. Blogs are a good way to find people to hire, advertise your company, and save money.

  16. Technology, if used right, can always be a powerful tool for businesses in general and everyone else as well. There are many new gadgets and pieces of technology out there that have this exact potential, they just need to be understood and learned properly. Blogging is one of those things, and can be very useful for all kinds of people and businesses.
    First, the CEO of Marriot puts it well when he says, “Bottom line, I believe in communicating with the customer, and the Internet gives me a whole new way of doing that on a global scale. I’d rather engage directly in dialogue with you because that’s how we learn and grow as a company. Blogging is the perfect way to do that, it helps the global communication of companies and customers. Secondly, About.com. makes the point that, “The blogging movement is picking up speed as businesses begin to realize the benefits of blogging.” This means that even if blogging is not a very effective tool for businesses now, it will be in the very near future. The more and more businesses pick up on the technology at their fingertips, the more powerful it will become.
    Lastly, a great point is made by Teresa Klein on BlogBusinesssSummit.com, “Just as a journal of your personal feelings and innermost thoughts can help you clarify your next steps in life, keeping a journal of your business can help you to recognize patterns, learn more about the weaknesses of your business model and synthesize new information.” This is a wonderful point that helps show one of the very powerful tools that a blog can have for a company, business, or whoever. Ultimately, blogs are becoming, and will continue to become, powerful and effective tools for businesses and corporations alike.

  17. Blogs are everywhere on the internet. After having done some research, I have come to the conclusion that blogs are a useful tool in the business world. Blogging within the business world can serve many purposes. They give employees and consumers the opportunity to express their personal opinion. “Blogs reflect the personality of the author (www.about.com).” While writing a blog, there can be a certain amount of ambiguity, which allows people to be more open with their opinions. Blogging can also serve as a way to get customer input on a company’s products and services. “Blogs have moved beyond personal spaces of individuals to an organization’s communication strategy (www.expresscomputeronline.com).” Many corporations use blogs as an advertising strategy to the public eye. Blogs build a community within the company and with consumers (www.forrester.com). Once I research blogging in the business world, I realize the affect it can have for a company. Blogging seems to be an upcoming tool that should be used frequently in the business world.

  18. After conducting some research on blogs, I have come to the conclusion that blogging can be a powerful tool for corporations and small businesses. To begin with, blogs are very easy to create and maintain, and can be just as effective as professionally set-up websites. “You don’t need expensive or complicated web editors or web design software to create a blog. With blog software, it literally takes minutes to have a professional looking site up and running” http://www.theinternetdigest.net. Thus, companies can save money by setting up a blog themselves and not paying someone to create a complicated website for them. Furthermore, blogs allow for consumers to communicate with businesses buy posting on blogs which allows businesses to give feedback to their customers. “It has given us a much better two-way conversation with our consumers than we’d have without it. We’ve also had several interviews with journalists because of the weblog, though that is likely because it is still unusual to have a corporate weblog.” http://www.backbonemedia.com/. Finally, blogs allow businesses and people to spread information quickly and effectively. “Because so many people have access to electronic forms of communication, it’s easy for information to spread quickly. If you have a great new product, an innovative idea or an exciting marketing strategy, you can be sure your blog readers will pass it along via e-mail to others who will pass it along, too” http://www.entrepreneur.com. Overall, blogging clearly has its advantages and should certainly be used by businesses.

  19. Blogging can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small business:

    I personally think that businesses wouldn’t benefit from blogs, because of the number of blogs on the internet that are simply personal I couldn’t see how they would significantly profit a company. Although a blog could be a helpful tool in a business, I certainly don’t think that it is a “powerful” tool. Of course most everyone knows what a blog is but not very many people use or care to read other blogs, at least in my own personal knowledge. According to analyst Edward Atorino of Benchmark in the Red Herring, “Blogs are an after thought. It’s more of a cultural phenomenon then a business phenomenon.” I believe that there are truths and ignorance in this comment, certainly there could be ideas coming from blogs but I still think the idea of a blog in the business world isn’t notably useful.
    Although after researching the phenomenon of blogs in the business world I soon found how naive I am to this growing business trend. Many large corporations have various blogs for a range of reasons beyond the typical diary entry that I believed to be the only type of bog. News about a business and their competitors as well as their consumers is information that can be found on a business blog. I have to admit I am still skeptical about what actual benefits come from a blog in the business world, but as long as companies are using them and proving me wrong I am going to keep an open mind.

  20. Blogs can be a powerful tool for business corporations as well as small businesses for many reasons. Blogs are everywhere on the internet, used for many reasons, from personal journal writing to professional journalists, it is only natural that the business world would find a way to benefit from blogs as well. According to wikipedia.org, “bloggers can provide nearly-instant commentary…” This is beneficial as businesses can find out what competitors are doing. A blog can be a very strong communication tool within a corporate community by exploring original, thought provoking issues. Internal blogs are also good alternatives to meetings and are better than emails because blogs are more organized and people receive so many emails that they may disregard an important company email. Blogs can also be a powerful asset in PR. There are millions of people who read blogs, and many of these people can be consumers of a particular business. By posting many positive things on a company’s blog, they can build their image. According to Darren Rowse on copyblogger.com, blogging is essential to business success and people can even use it as a source of income. Blogging does have its disadvantages though. According to an article about blogs on programcritique.com, blogs may be live and conversational but “people do get excited and instead of keeping the discussion on a logical plane, may end up arguing.” The article does go on to say, however, they give a business the chance to be heard and have many advantages. Overall I think that blogging can be a very powerful tool for any kind of business, as long as they use it the right way, have perfect grammar, and aren’t argumentative.

  21. I believe that blogs will not help businesses succeed because they take away credibility of a business. It makes companies seem more casual and laid back to the wrong people. An article on the website thepocketpart.com explains how blogs make it harder to recognize credible sources: “Unfortunately, the Internet in general, and blogs in particular, eviscerate and obscure expertise because the Internet’s most distinctive feature is the elimination of mediating boundaries: of distance, experience, education, and intelligence” (Brian Leiter). Blogs often make me skeptical of the other person’s credibility. Another website called doctorvee.com said, “blogs are bad because they don’t have editors”. This is a very good point because if someone says something and it is on the internet, alot of people will believe it even if it is completely false. Another thing that can be dangerous about blogs is the fact that anyone can see them. If anyone posts something on a blog that wasn’t meant for the public, their life or company could be in jeopardy. The website netalert.net explains what the possible dangers could be if you were to post a blog. In conclusion, I think blogs should not become widely used in businesses because I don’t like people looking at my everyday life and I don’t want to know what other people are doing day to day because to me it is irrelevant and it can only make me think less of them.

  22. I’ve found blogging the easiest way to establish expertise in a new focus area, dating advice for women over 40. I had no presence in this expertise before I started my blog last May. Now I’ve turned my blog into a book, which is being shopped at publishers now, created a loyal following of my daily posts, and garnered articles interviewing me in major newspapers, an appearance on a TV talk show, and an upcoming radio interview. I could have never done that without a blog to establish my credibility.

    Adventures in Dating After 40

  23. I think that blogs can absolutely be a powerful tool for corporations and small businesses. They allow for corporations to openly communicate with their customers as well as employees. It is less formal and therefore enables a more open environment in which to communicate. Although I am personally not as up-to-date as I should be on blogging, I do realize that it can be a very powerful tool for corporations. For example, the president of marriot hotels even uses blogging as a means This shows that even the most business savvy people believe that blogging is an important and relevant tool that needs to be put to use. Feedback from customers is another reason why blogging can be useful for corporations. It allows for customers to express their feelings about the company. Another perk with blogging is it allows for employees to communicate with each other. This could be very useful if one employee needs another employee to pick up his or her shift or anything of that nature.

  24. I think the blogs are very good thing for business. The customer can finally be heard and the employee as well. It should and hopefully will make interactions between companys every aspect of the operation run much more smooth. How can you reject the idea of feedback its what makes you popular. Sorry if i was late posting i didnt realize.

  25. Larissa Cain
    BUS 1040-5
    Blogging Exercise
    January 17, 2007
    Posted January 22, 2007

    Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is similar to a newsletter that is updated regularly and is open for the use of the general public. Blogs are also meant the display the personality of the author so that people can learn more about them via website. Currently, I do not think that blogging is a legitimate business tool simply because it does not sound legitimate. When I hear about blogging I immediately picture a pre-teen sitting behind Myspace telling everyone about their problems, not a top executive explaining a product or service. However, if this stereotype of blogging changes then I think that it could become a viable tool for businesses.
    First of all, blogging can be a used to communicate more directly with the customers. Mr. Marriot is a prime example of this ideology. According to http://www.businessblogconsulting.com, via http://www.google.com, Mr. Marriot states: “Bottom line, I believe in communicating with the customer, and the Internet gives me a whole new way of doing that on a global scale. I’d rather engage directly in dialogue with you because that’s how we learn and grow as a company.” Mr. Marriot makes a good point with this quote and many customers would certainly appreciate having a relationship with a company that at least felt more personal.
    Secondly, http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/ecommerce/a/bblogs.htm, also via http://www.google.com, points out that a blog is a great opportunity for a business to exhibit their expertise in their area and display their knowledge to a large audience. Potential customers would likely be grateful for the reassurance that the company is competent in the field. This also demonstrates the company’s dedication the customers by making such an effort to keep them informed and involved in the workings of the company.
    Blogs can be used for communicating with employees as well. Through http://www.yahoo.com, http://humanresources.about.com/od/businessblogs/a/business_blogs.htm makes the point that it is helpful for employees to receive the same information at the same time. For this function blogging makes more sense than a newsletter, which is issued monthly in most companies and distributed unequally. This is particularly difficult to manage in a large company. A blog would easily allow all employees to catch up on the corporation at any time.
    Finally, http://www.corporateblogging.info from http://www.ask.com, makes the excellent point that blogging would contribute to the company’s results in search engines. Nearly everyone turns to a site like Google when they need help with something or are looking for information. It would be infinitely valuable for a corporation to be included in the search engines.
    While the connotations regarding blogging today do not have much to do with top executives of major corporations, it could likely become a useful tool for businesses. Not only can blogs be used for communicating with customers and employees but also for improving business in general. These are only a few possible applications of corporate blogging. Weblogs have the potential to be a great resource for businesses.

  26. Blogging, along with many other forms of networking and communication in a business can be as hugely successful and advantageous as it can be a huge hindrance to productivity. Blogs can be used as tools, for the spread of informaiton amongst businesses and the employees of businesses, sharing valuable knowledge with one another that they would not otherwise digest through casual conversation or direct communication. In fact, according to Wikipedia’s entry on “blogs”, corporate blogs are a widely used tool, “Blogs, either used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or PR purposes are called corporate blogs.”

    Blogs can also be used for business-consumer relationship, “Blogs build connections and links between and among your key audiences, which help the corporations to use these networks over time to persuade people to action, to respond to a crisis, to leverage market conversations and to improve the business overall.” (Wikipedia: Corporate Blog)

    Blogs can even extend to the level of corporate CEO’s posting to engage their customers and employees and drive the company onwards. (http://www.globalprblogweek.com/2005/09/19/taylor-why-ceos-should-not-blog/) But are blogs consuming too much time from what would be otherwise very important activities? At this point, there is not a big enough case to state that businesspeople are hurting their businesses to any major extent by spending too much time on blogs. It is probably much more advantageous to have them writing educated articles on company strategy, etc, than it is to have them playing solitaire on company time. For now, I think companies should continue exploring the uses of blogging.

  27. I agree that blogging can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small business. It’s a cost effective way to promote a business and maintain a healthy corporate image. “Blogs are basically content management systems with additional functionality such as comments, trackbacks and RSS. In many ways, blogs are no different than web sites.” (http://www.businessblogconsulting.com/) As well it connects a business to people and is a simple effect way of critiquing a business’s plan. It is also a valuable tool for increasing a company’s popularity. “Who wouldn’t want to blog? Your search engine rankings skyrocket… you build lasting relationships, and you find out what your customers are saying… “(http://www.sixapart.com/typepad/whyblog). As well, there’s virtually no cost to start a blog. The risk will have little consequences but could have huge rewards (http://bloggingforbusinessbook.com/).

  28. Although there are both positive and negative aspects to blogs, if researched correctly blogs can be very effective in searching for information. I did not know much about blogs before the Google presentation and my first opinion of them was that the majority of them contained false information. Even though this is true, if you search the right way blogs can be an excellent source of information. Corporations can use blogs to their advantage to see what is being said about them and their competitors.

  29. Although blogging has the potential to have a negative impact: embarrassment, boredom or alienation of customers, contribution to information overload, or potentially lead a person or company on the wrong end of a lawsuit, I believe that blogging used smartly and strategically can be a powerful new business tool for corporations and small businesses. First, the costs and resources needed for blogging are quite limited. Unlike corporate websites, “b-blogs” (business blogs) are cheap to launch and easy to maintain, thanks to powerful, easy-to-use tools. (Stuart, 2003). The business world’s posting pioneers say blogging helps them network, boost sales, and even lobby — at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of server maker Sun Microsystems says “there’s no fundamental difference between giving a keynote speech in Shanghai in front of 30,000 people and doing a blog read by several million people.” (Kharif, 2004). Second, blogs are a new medium for executives to speak to the people without the hindrance from the media or news analysts. This medium allows more freedom to the executives as what they have to say can be seen in full, rather than cut and edited by the media to fit a news segment. Even more importantly, the blog gives the consumers the chance to be heard, as they can post their comments to a blog. This is a vital feature as any business in the end really wants to know what it is their consumers want. Deliver what the consumers want and a business can generate loyalty. “To be sure, the intimacy found in blog culture conversation, customers can get to know workers—and vice-versa. Affiliation breeds loyalty. Customers begin to talk among themselves. A typo that would be an embarrassment in an advertisement becomes a sign of authenticity on a blog” (Cross, 2003). Lastly, despite the reality that blogs are relatively new and are not the current big thing in technology, there is reason to believe that soon they will be. “New formats are intimidating. Remember buying your first DVD? Or your first book on tape? Felt odd at first, but soon it was natural. Blogs are a new format. Approximatley four million people write blogs, and blogging is growing faster than when the Internet was experiencing its period of maximum growth” (Cross, 2003). Chris Charron, an analyst with tech consultancy Forrester Research in Boston says “in fact, these [business] blogs which now account for a handful of the estimated 20,000 blogs on the Web, could eventually grab a lion’s share of the Internet audience.”
    Furthermore, Jonathan Schwartz also said that a blog “is a must- have tool for every executive. It’ll be no more mandatory that they have blogs than that they have a phone and an e-mail account.” (Kharif, 2004). In conclusion, I believe that it is quite clear that there are paramount advantages to a business using a blog to target their market, network, share information, express themselves far more freely than by traditional media means, and truly communicate to the consumers in a way that is faster and cheaper than anything else currently being used. Thus, blogging can truly be a powerful new business tool.

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