Monday, May 09, 2005

Critique of "Why Blog?"

list of reasons why a business might blog Posted by Hello

"Why Blog?" is the title of a Basic Business Blogging page contained within the Corporate Blogging Info site:

In "Why Blog?" PR Consultant Fredrik Wacka provides a list of kinds of blogs, per audience needs.

I run my critique in [bracketed italicized commentary]

Let's take a look at that list now...

[QUOTE from Fredrik Wacka]


From a business perspective there are several potential reasons to blog. But, as always, it depends on what you want. Blogs are no different from channels like video, print, audio, presentations and so on. They all deliver results - but of varying kind. The kind you can expect from blogs is mainly about stronger relations with important target groups.

[STREIGHT: Blogs are very different from video, print, audio. No of the other media are dynamically interactive. Only text messaging via a cell phone has the interactive properties of a blog, but text messaging is ephemeral and not generally intended for publishing over a global network.

Blogs, via comments and email to the author, represent opportunities to form candid, transparent, relevant conversations, a two-way communication, with a target audience.

With blogs, the user-generated content can sometimes be more valuable and attractive to users, than the blogger's original content and links.

No other media offers the average person power to instantly publish content for a global audience.]

* Become the Expert

[STREIGHT: Rather...Be in Reality the Expert You Claim to Be. If you put up a blog and proclaim yourself an expert on some subject, prove your claim by writing original material about the subject. Write easy-to-understand posts and difficult, technical posts. Offer solutions to problems, answers to questions, and insights of practical value.]

* Customer Relationships

[STREIGHT: This usually is interpreted as "cross selling", "customer evangelism", or "customer loyalty" programs. The only relationships most companies want with customers is whatever makes the cash register sing. But blogs are good for building customer relationships...IF the blogger is adept at it. And IF the blogger interacts with the target audience by responding to emails and by replying to comments *within the comment thread itself* and not in a summarizing post. Timely, candid, and frequent interaction with blog readers is how blogs help companies form positive new connections with a target audience.]

* Media Relations

* Internal Collaboration

* Knowledge Management

[STREIGHT: This, along with Internal Collaboration, indicates the possibly more effective use of a blog, to replace an intranet. With reverse chronological posting, comment posting, proper archive categorization, and a site search mechanism, project teams and collaborators can quickly see what's been updated, added to, or questioned.]

* Recruitment

[STREIGHT: The value of the CEO or corporate spokesperson instigating a candid, relevant, intimate conversation with a target audience cannot be over-stressed. This will increase the job applicant's desire to work for the company, it gives the potential new employee a glimpse into the corporate environment and management philosophy.]

* Test ideas or products

* Rank high in Search Engines

[STREIGHT: I think "Form an Online Community", "Improve Your Writing and Strategic Thinking Skills", "Initiate a Candid Two-way Conversation with Customers", "Provide a Forum for Open Discussion of Products, Service, and Innovations", "Organize an Activist Group to Solve a Societal Ill", and "Create a Repository for Archived Material and Link Logs" rate separate asterisks in this list.]

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