November 27, 2005

Benefits of Corporate Blogs & K-Logs

Blogs have attracted a lot of attention lately and seem to be a new trend in Web. Yes, blogs enable users to collaborate and exchange ideas on an informal basis. Yes, it is easy to use and cost-effective. However, I have wondered if blogging can benefit employees and corporations.

So my Question is...

How can a corporation benefit from employee and employer blogging?

To answer this question, I would like to explore the benefits for both the employer and employees…

Employer Benefits:
  • Encourage collaboration from corporate management down to the employees
  • Build a social network within the company to communicate ideas and receive/provide feedback
  • Stimulate thought-leadership

Employee Benefits: “Blogs…”
  • Provide a “bottom-up” structure which motivates employees to share and communicate their ideas in an informal space that is comfortable
  • Give employees ownership of their thoughts and in some cases pride
  • Illustrate a willingness to learn
  • Are very easy to use

Although an internal blog has several benefits, we must keep in mind that a “blog policy” must be put in place to help manage the information that is shared throughout the network. In another blog, I will research the components of a blog policy, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that an adequate blog policy is put in place.

Now that we have established the benefits of blogging, we need to explore the benefits of an internal (and sometimes external) corporate blog. However, I believe an internal blog is most beneficial from the employee standpoint to initiate both thought leadership and ownership.

Benefits of an Internal Blog:
  • Very easy to use (just like sending an email)
  • Cost-effective
  • Can use different blogs for different departments in a corporation
  • Includes vital information for ALL employees including:
    • Upcoming projects and timelines
    • Brainstorming of business strategies
    • Feedback of current and proposed strategies
    • News about the corporation and each department
    • Includes thoughts from the CEO, or a link to the CEO's Blog

In addition, to a traditional blog that can be used, I have come across a new form of a blog called “K-Log,” which is a Knowledge Management Blog. The K-Log further encourages both the teaching and sharing of knowledge. Although I am not an expert, I will still include the benefits of a K-Log.

Benefits of a K-Log:
  • User interfaces:
    • Email System (post emails to blog)
    • Desktop Media (post files/objects/images to blog)
    • Bookmarks (post links to blog)
  • Manage information through RSS feeds
  • Archive and capture important information and knowledge in the intranet
  • Once again, stimulate thought-leadership and ownership

Below are links that offer additional information regarding Corporate Blogging:
  1. Traction Software
  2. iUpload
  3. Case Study: European Pharmaceutical Group
  4. Establishing a Blog on Your Organization’s Intranet
  5. Internal Blogs – Are They So Different from External Blogs?

My conclusions:
  • Corporate blogs encourage collaboration and communication of ideas throughout the corporation
  • Corporate blogs create a social network amongst ALL employees
  • Corporate blog provide an informal space for employees to exchange ideas and take pride in their thoughts
  • Corporate blogs stimulate thought-leadership
  • Corporate blogs are an effective mechanism for keeping employees updated with news, projects, strategies, and ideas

So what do YOU think? Do you agree with my conclusions? I encourage ALL to communicate their ideas...let me know what you think!

November 17, 2005

Community Marketing: Blogs

Our world is evolving, especially as the Web continues to expand. More companies now adapt their marketing strategies to include the Web as it is cheaper, faster, and easier. The evolution of online marketing has been drastically changing from simple text websites, to graphical interfaces, interactive media, and now to community marketing.

What is Community Marketing?

Community Marketing is a strategy some businesses are utilizing to communicate with their customers. It enables a businesses to engage in an informal conversation with their customers without the bells and whistles of a marketing strategy or sales pitch. Speaking the customers language and presenting ideas in their terms is just another aspect of knowing your customer and providing services/products that fit their needs.

Now how does this relate to Blogs? Well blogs are in the umbrella of Community Marketing which includes: wikis, forums, social networking... (for more information on community marketing visit Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang

The mere fact that large corporate companies have blogs illustrates the importance of conversing with others and exchanging ideas about current products, trends, and strategies. Just as I use my blog to express my interests, corporations use blogs to have conversations with their customer to build a non-comercialized relationship -- instead of business to consumer, friend to friend. Although to some, blogging is just "noise" right now, I strongly believe that community marketing IS the future. p>


Envision this... you want to buy an mp3 player, but you are unsure if you should buy an iPod. Who will you go to for advice? You can read the new Press Release on Apple's website, or you can ask your friends. Who will you trust more? Now, say none of your friends own an iPod, but you can go to a website and read reviews of the iPod from actual users. Better yet, you can research further and talk with people who have used Apple's products and you can ask them questions. Now who will you trust more...the writer who Apple paid to write good things about their products, or actual users who bought the product themselves and give you their testimonial? I admit, that I would believe someone who actually uses the product, rather than someone who is paid to write good things.

Would you agree?

Now imagine this scenario but on a larger scale - in the business world. Blogging allows businesses to converse with their customers on an informal level. Businesses just need to "listen" to their customers, organize the information, and take action. It's not enough for companies just to create a blog and leave it out there, they need to constantly evolve according to their customer's needs and wants in order to establish and maintain their competitive edge. Blogging allows businesses to do just that!

A perfect example of a business that did not pay attention to the blogosphere is Kryptonite. Word spread in an online group discussion that the bicycle locks made by Kryptonite could easily be picked with a Bic pen. Just two days later, an online video had already been made illustrating how to pick the locks. This caused severe damage to Kyrptonite itself especially a loss of sales. For more on this, visit Why There's No Escaping the Blog

Blogs: 5 Personalities of a blogger

I came across an interesting article about blogging personalities written by Sheila Ann Manuel Coggins . Here is a clip of her article (to view the whole article, visit her website).

Let's explore the 5 personalities of a blogger...
1. The Pundit - You like to blog about a specific topic of interest that you are passionate about from business, politics, technology, law, education, entertainment, to literature. You blog regularly and you welcome relevant discussions about your topic. You have a constant thirst for knowledge.

2. The Artist - Your blog captures the way you see the world. You love images more than words. Blogging only makes sense to you if there are photos or pictures - either of daily life, special people, memorable events, or works of art.

3. The Writer - Words captivate you. And, you like to capture words. Blogging enables you to write often. It also provides a place for you to share what you write with a reading public. You can be funny, inspiring, intelligent, cynical, or morbid. It doesn't matter what you write about in your blog. It only matters that you write.

4. The Daily Grinder - You love blogging because it's like therapy. You can write about anything and everything that happens to you - from the food you ate to what you were doing when you heard the latest 'breaking news.' Being able to communicate with your friends (online and/or real life) through your blog is important to you.

5. The Patchworker - Blogging is a way for you to comment on and consolidate news, current events, useful resources, and other relevant matters. In your blog entries, you usually add links to other people's blogs or websites with original content instead of writing your own.

So What's your blogging personality?

I am most like the PUNDIT with a little bit of the Patchworker. I use blogs as a medium for not only communicating my ideas, but seeking information from my community and the business world. In addition, I enjoy reading what others have to offer because it provides me with a new prospective. Perhaps something that I did not think of. Blogs keep me up to date with the business world, enable me to communicate with the world, and provides a space to voice my opinions.