November 1, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

New Survey: Are Blogs Still Important for SEO and Why?

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 01/27/10

Blog SEO SurveyA large number of companies are familiar with the process of starting a blog, but few have experienced the challenges of maintaining and growing a blog for more than a year. Understanding long term benefits is key to sustainable business blogging. One of the most notable benefits of publishing blog content, especially if optimized, is the compliment to search engine optimization efforts.

TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog recently conducted a survey with 326 Corporate, Agency, Small Biz and Independent marketers. Long time readers of Business Blog Consulting understand the SEO value of blogging, however, we wanted to check in with marketers with a variety of blogging experience to see what their experiences have been firsthand.

Key findings:

95% indicated blogs are used as part of their search engine optimization efforts
87.4% successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging
90% cited blogging as important, significantly important or a primary SEO tactic

Blogs are started for many reasons ranging from corporate communications in a newsroom format to conversational posts from executives or subject matter experts. When it came to SEO benefits from blogging, the top choices were:

  • Creat new optimized content
  • Linking from blog posts to optimized web site content
  • Attract external links
  • Increase crawl rate / frequency
  • Community building for content/links promotion
  • Content Syndication

The timeframe between starting a blogging effort and seeing results is a very common question for companies considering a blog as part of the marketing and communications mix. In the TopRank survey, respondents reported seeing SEO results fairly quickly:

94% of bloggers reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months
54% of respondents start to see SEO benefits from blogging within 3 months

After timeframe to see results, the next most common question about building a case for a corporate blog are the results. Adding a SEO effort to a corporate blog allows companies to increase the outcomes and reach of the content published. The top benefits from blog SEO included:

  • Increasing company site traffic
  • Increase company leads/sales
  • Inbound links
  • Referrals from the blog
  • Lead generation from the blog
  • Improved web site rankings
  • Increased blog traffic

Starting a blog purely for SEO reasons will make content sustainability difficult in the long run. A blogging strategy must meet meet other goals as well, especially those that involve engaging customers or interactions with readers. Other success measures from blogging include:

  • Increase overall online exposure. They won’t know about you if you don’t say anything, participate
  • Contribute to company’s bottom line goals in at least a semi-direct way
  • Branding and owning SERPS
  • Increase quality of site traffic
  • Improve visibility and prominence in search engine results is by far the most important, it’s all about search
  • Branding
  • Incease visibility and demonstrate the company is “up to date”

Convincing management that a corporate blog or any kind of blog is not always easy. Nor is long term creation of content and promotion. Many of the comments about obstacles to blogging centered around time, resources, measurement and a lack of awareness.

  • 67.2% cited resource issues as the most common objection to implementing a blog
  • 42% cited content sourcing issues
  • 35% didn’t see the benefit of blogging
  • Regulated industry or legal issues got in the way for 19.3

Is blogging here to stay? 92% of respondents feel blogging will continue to be an important content optimization and marketing tactic for the next 3+ years.

Read the full results of the Blogging and SEO Survey here along with a large number of comments from respondents on measuring success and SEO applications of blogging. Follow @leeodden on Twitter for more insights into Social SEO and Blogging.

Blogging Top Ranked Digital Marketing Tactic for 2009

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 04/21/09

Companies world-wide are cutting costs as well as looking for creative, high impact and accountable marketing. With concerns over the recession and its impact on marketing, I recently ran a poll of the 17,000 subscribers at Online Marketing Blog to discover their intentions for digital marketing tactics in 2009.

Poll respondents cast 1,559 votes for their top three digital marketing tactics (from a list of 45) for 200. Blogging, Twitter and Search Engine Optimization topped the list. Out of the top ten rated marketing tactics, six fell into the category of Social Media Marketing.

The actual question asked was, “What 3 digital marketing channels & tactics will you emphasize in 2009?” Here are the top ten tactics selected:

• Blogging (34%)
• Microblogging (Twitter) (29%)
• Search engine optimization (28%)
• Social network participation (Facebook, LinkedIn) (26%)
• Email marketing (17%)
• Social media monitoring & outreach (17%)
• Pay per click (14%)
• Blogger relations (12%)
• Video marketing (10%)
• Social media advertising (7%)

Email marketing rated higher than PPC which is surprising given the budgets spent on PPC vs email. Some tactics are much easier to implement than others, or less expensive, which may explain a few of the top choices, such as Twitter.

Corporate web sites didn’t rate in the top ten tactics. Does this mean the death of company web sites? Some companies are succumbing to the social media perspective to extremes, like the Skittles site which had been simplified to a page of search results from Twitter and then changed to their Facebook page. Others are adding social features to their company sites to complement existing messaging and functionality.

By now, most companies have their 2009 online marketing plans in place. Does this ranked order of tactics mean you should change up your online marketing mix? The answer is that digital marketing tactics should match the needs of the situation, company resources, the target market and end consumer preferences. The proper tactical mix for a digital marketing program could be anything from the 45 tactics listed in the TopRank Blog poll and still be successful as long as they support a valid strategy.

Some companies are prepared for digital and social media marketing programs and many are not. To get “ready”, companies need to develop a social media roadmap and get up to speed on both best and worst practices. Whether those methods of reaching and communicating with customers reconciles with existing marketing plans or not, companies would do well to allocate resources to some level of ongoing social media training, testing and development of expertise in the social media space.

DoubleClick Releases New Report on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 12/15/06

Business Blog Consulting’s founder, Rick Bruner, hasn’t been seen or heard from lately, at least not here. I was beginning to wonder if he still existed. Lo and behold, I found he does. His name is attached to a new report released this month by DoubleClick, where he serves as Director of Research.

The report, titled Influencing the Influencers: How Online Advertising and Media Impact Word of Mouth (PDF), talks about how marketers can make use of word-of-mouth marketing by “influencing the influencers,” those whose buying decisions tend to have greater impact on friends, family, and associates than others.

How Do You Say “Page Rank” in Arabic?

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 09/23/06

For any company doing business in Arabic-speaking countries or communities a good feed to have is for the Maktoob Business Blog.

Online since December 2005, the blog covers aspects of business in the Middle East, with a stated aim of focusing on marketing, advertising and media. There are several contributors.

The blog is a product of Maktoob Business – whose website banner claims that the group has the world’s largest Arabic community.

araby.com logo

A recent blog post reports on Maktoob’s newly-launched (beta) Arabic search engine, Araby.com, which Maktoob claims has a number of competitive advantages over the Arabic version of the engines developed first for English:

  • optimized to deliver Arabic-language results from Arabic sources
  • specialized search channels including Arabic news sites, photos, blogs and forums
  • a dedicated channel for searching Islamic topics

The press release here provides more detail and some pr elaboration.

Not being able to read Arabic, for me the Araby.com site is a closed book. But could Araby.com be a serious Arabic competitor to Google and Yahoo! A contender in its rather large niche? This blog post by one of the developers, Isam Bayazidi, sounds a cautionary note – it’s beta, he’s saying:

One thing for sure, Araby.com, and the verticals in it have a long way to go with development. We only released early to give users a peak into what is cooking, and get feedback on it.

A Blog Conversation

Posted by: of One By One Media on 09/12/06

An interesting development transpired here at BBC, a blog conversation broke out.  BBC contributor Stephan Spencer’s post PR Firms Comment Spamming? began a small conversation with the VP of Connors Communications.  Stephan had assumed a comment left on his blog about the long tail was a PR firm touting the latest client’s software program.  Although Stephan was mistaken in his assumption, through the use of blog mining or RSS (now I’m assuming), Mike Levin the person that left the comment, was able to correct his mistake.  In fact Mike was touting the application he had developed for Connors Communications. 

An open conversation was the result, and although Stephan and Mike may disagree on the use of comments on a blog, it is clear that their exchange was civil, and exactly what companies can use a blog to develop, an open commuincation with their customer or clients. 

Sorry Mike, now it’s my turn to provide some feedback.  After going to the Connors website, I wanted to rush to read your blog since you had indicated you were a passionate blogger in your comment.  I looked far and wide and could not seem to locate that blog.  On a whim I decided to check out the hard to find navigational site map link and searched a long time again before I found the link to your company blog.  You are correct by stating in the comments here:

I read many blogs, and sometimes I am compelled to leave comments, just as comments on our blog are welcome. I think if you read a few of my blog posts, you will find me to be sincere and on the level.

I read a few of your blog posts and you are definitely on the level and sincere.  The problem or at least what made it difficult was the navigation to your blog.  If you don’t make it easy to access those blog posts people may never get to find your wisdom.  A simple “Read Our Weblog” button or link in the top left with the rest of the navigation would prove to be beneficial to you and Connors Communications.

Great job gentleman and lets keep up the blogging conversation.

Tracking the buzz on the blogosphere

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 08/16/06

From iMediaConnection this morning comes some hints at how to track the buzz around you and your business on the blogosphere.  The tips and techniques are good ones, but they miss a couple important things.  First let’s look at the metrics they suggest:

  • Technorati: Blogs linking to your site
  • Technorati: Total incoming links to your site
  • Bloglines: Citation search total
  • Analytics: Pageviews
  • Analytics: New Visitors
  • Analytics: Repeat visitors
  • Analytics: Referrals
  • Analytics: Organic
  • Analytics: Direct
  • Datasource: New Members/Subscribers/Customers
  • Datasource: Revenues from (direct sales/affiliates/partners/resellers/etc.)
  • Alexa: Weekly rank
  • Email: Opens
  • Email: Clickthroughs
  • Email: Forwards

Super.  Lot’s more here than just bloggy buzz, but let’s run with it.  Since I’m in charge of the metrics stuff at Qumana, well I’m usually up to my elbows in all this data.  So … what’s missing?  Well first an RSS reader.  The blogosphere is about immediacy if nothing else and you have to keep on top of it.  You need to subscribe to the RSS feeds provided by Technorati, Google, etc to be able to react and contribute to the conversation.  Bloglines and Lektora (disclosure I work for the company that makes Lektora) are two good choices.  Then for buzz and conversation measurement I really like BlogPulse.  Here is an example of a BlogPulse trend search comparing me (Tris Hussey), Debbie Weil, and Rick Bruner:

What this shows is that, well, sorry Rick … but no one is talking about you.  I tend to be talked more about than Debbie, except recently because Debbie just launched her book (man I gotta get cracking!).  Imagine doing this for your brand, CEO, competitors.  Something like this:

This compares Qumana (my company) to Ecto and Microsoft’s new Live Writer.  As you can see Qumana is talked about more than Ecto, but Live Writer is clearly a blogosphere darling at the moment.

Bottom line: check out the analytics article (there are good suggestions there), start subscribing to RSS, and add BlogPulse to your toolkit for some fast measurements on the bloggy buzz

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Air Force Researches Blogs

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 07/6/06

According to a recent announcement by the US Department of Defense, a new study of blogs, to receive $450,000 in funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is not about warblogging but about what sort of help blog research may provide in ‘fighting the war on terrorism’.

Two scientists at Framingham, Mass. Versatile Information Systems Inc., Dr. Brian E. Ulicny, senior scientist and Dr. Mieczyslaw M. Kokar, president, will be managing the project entitled “Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information�.

Heady stuff.

I share some of blogger Tim Oren’s concern over the ‘ontologically-based’ part of the project description and the possible implication of a ‘one-theory-fits-all’ approach, especially in terms of cultural difference. But as Oren observes, there could be some useful civilian spinoff as well as militarily applicable outcomes.

I looked for signs of a blog, either corporate or individual, on the Versatile Information Systems website, but to no avail. Without knowing whether or not the scientists blog, I wondered which would be better for a scientific study of blogging, for the scientists to have practical, personal experience of blogging, or not?

And as a former public servant and sometime consultant to government, I wonder what possibilities this story suggests for further blogging research/consultancy in the government space?

JupiterResearch – Soon To Be A Corporate Blog World

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 06/28/06

Recently JupiterResearch dropped a media release that has the social media scene buzzing. And well it should for the prestigious JupiterResearch’s study revealed that “… 35 percent of large companies plan to institute corporate Weblogs this year. Combined with the existing deployed base of 34 percent, nearly 70 percent of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006.”

That’s significant. Actually, I found that to be a little too signifcant.

According the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki (written by Chris Andersen of Wired and Ross Mayfield of Socialtext) Wiki to as of April 18, 2006 29 (5.8%) of Fortune 500 companies had a blog. If JupiterResearch’s analysis is correct and “nearly 70% of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006″ a lot of Fortune 500s (not to mention other large companies) are are going to be pretty busy building blogs during the next six month.

Even though I admit to a drink of that kool-aid every now and again, this sounded strange. I shot an email off to Peter Arnold Associates (PR agency) explaining that I was working in the social media space, was a blogger and wanted to post their client’s findings. I explained I found the analysis odd and asked for clarification on the methodolgy, how JupiterResearch defined “corporations” and “large companies” and how they came to their conclusions.

I received two lovely responses. The first: “Let me check in with someone on the research team at JupiterResearch to find answers to your questions. I’ll be back in touch as soon as I hear.”

The second: “Information about JupiterResearch reports are available to accredited members of the press for free and clients.

After looking at your blog link JupiterResearch has decided not to fulfill your request for more information since the blog* is closely tied with your company that serves as a consultancy. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you this earlier, I didn’t realize that your company and blog were so closely affiliated.

If you’d like more information about becoming a client or purchasing a report, please let me know.”

Bloggers have gotten called on the carpet for jumping the gun and posting without fact checking. While we’re not journalists, the majority of business bloggers do feel an obligation to their readers to present accurate information.

BBC readers, I tried to find out the story behind the numbers for you before I posted that I thought these findings were .. shall we say out of the ball park optimistic. Based on the information presented in their media release, I caution you to look at JupiterResearch’s conclusions with with a few grains of salt.

If anyone has read the report and can explain how “nearly 70 percent of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006″ please drop a comment. I sure would like to know.

Business Spending on RSS to Rise

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 05/17/06

JupiterResearch has published a new report, “RSS Comes of Age” that finds 63 percent of large companies planning to syndicate content via RSS by the end of this year. This growth is surprising in contrast to the low “perceived” adoption rate of RSS.

“The primary challenge to greater adoption is a lack of experience with RSS and resources to deploy it,” said David Schatsky, President of JupiterKagan. “However, recent offerings from e-mail service providers (ESP) and RSS service providers are lowering the barrier for feed management, deployment and measurement.”

Reading this summary reminds me of the research report offered by Yahoo and Ipsos Insight (pdf):

“27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.”

So perhaps this explains the use of “percieved” in reference to adoption rates? Many users of RSS don’t realize they are. Regardless, RSS is a fantastic tool for communication and marketing and is one of the most distinguishing features of a blog.

Corporate Blogs Best Practices Survey

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 03/17/06

Analysis firm Cymphony and PR agency Porter Novelli have partnered to conduct research into how companies are executing their corporate blog strategy with a research survey called Corporate Blog – Best Practice. If you’re involved with business or corporate blogging, this survey is for you.

Jim Nail of Cymphony emailed me the details:

“The survey is delving into some of the unglamorous but important questions around corporate blogging: who actually manages the blog? Who actually writes the posts? How often? What tools do they use to monitor blogs? How often? There’s lots of talk about the reasons why companies should have blogs and what types of information they should include, but I haven’t seen anything about these practical day-to-day implementation issues that companies need to work out to effectively manage this channel.”

After you take the survey, you have the option of providing contact information to receive a executive summary of the findings and an invitation to a webinar where the full report will be provided.

After getting Jim’s email, I recalled the Blogger Survey conducted by Technorati and Edelman last year that provided some interesting insights focusing on how bloggers interact with companies and PR firms. The Corporate Blog – Best Practice survey focuses more on how businesses use blogs and it will be interesting to compare the results with previous research.

If the name Jim Nail is familiar, I mentioned him in an earlier post on blog buzz from a panel at the New York Search Engine Strategies conference. Jim was at Forrester for 8 years prior to joining Cymphony.

Who are the most influential authorities on “Business Blogging”?

Posted by: of Made for Marketing on 02/17/06

Interesting report from the Onalytica blog, measuring who the top 25 most influential business bloggers are, with full disclosure on their methodology for defining ‘influential.

Not sure I agree with their results, purely because they have a mix of blog networks (Corante), multi-author blogs (Businessblogconsulting) and famous single bloggers like Steve Rubel @ Micropersuasion.

Download the PDF of the report here.

The Results

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Great New RSS Whitepaper Released Today

Posted by: of Made for Marketing on 02/1/06

Marqui, the blogging and communications company, in conjuction with FreeRange Communications, the mobile RSS company, have released a great whitepaper on RSS entitled “RSS Rx: How Marketers Can Make the Most of RSS Technology.” The document is a quick read, at only 15 pages, but gives a really great overview of RSS for marketers in a conversational tone that is very much a Marqui thing. (I mean, really, look at their website and you’ll see what I mean)
The document cites nearly every RSS study done to date, and highlights some of the prominent RSS purveyors throughout the document. (Full disclosure: Pheedo is mentioned in the document)
There is also a fair bit of prescriptive content on ‘what do do next’ with your new-found RSS knowledge, such as the following:

Marketers interested in incorporating RSS into their activities should first take a hard look at their Web site. What content does it have that can – and should be – distributed? For example, does your site have blogs, forums, press releases, product information, support information, email newsletters, audio presentations or whitepapers? If not, can any of these items be added?

Even companies relying on third-parties to manage some of these items might be surprised to find that adding an RSS feed is an option. For instance, companies using a newsletter service to manage their newsletters should ask if the service comes with RSS feeds since more and more services are adding this capability.

Marqui has made the whitepaper available for download on their site in the downloads section.

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Advice for co-authoring a book?

My friend and colleague Paul Chaney is working on a blogging book with another author and recently asked for some advice on schedules and how to work on a multi-author book. I responded and thought it would be interesting to pull the response here into the public eye too…

Paul commented:

“The book is scheduled for release in the fall and they want a completed manuscript by the end of March. Not having had this experience I have no clue as to whether that’s a reasonable time frame, but we aim to please.”

First off, congratulations! There’s little as satisfying as publishing a book and bumping into people who have read it! :-)

Having said that, I do believe that a perfect egalitarian coauthorship doesn’t work and that there needs to be a lead writer whose voice ends up permeating the entire manuscript. That’s what Shel did with Naked Conversations, for example.

You need to balance the rewrites and work, of course, so it’s still equitable, but books that are collections of essays, for example, are always spotty and plagued by bad writing, making it hard to find the gems.

Further, I would assume that each chapter is going to go back and forth between coauthors at least twice. You brainstorm points and cases, your coauthor adds to it, you write a first draft, they add their content, you polish and send it in. (Or vice versa).

Once you’ve sent in the manuscript, remember that you’re both part of a bigger team of editorial folk and that you’ll have AT LEAST two or three more people adding their 2-3 cents worth, including a tech editor [1], copyeditor, and development editor. Value all their comments (it’s easy to get mad at them) and respond to each query with the question of “they represent the reader. How can I improve this for the reader?” rather than the more common, but wrong-headed “stupid editor. What do they know about this subject?”

Finally, once it’s all done, remember that’s when your work STARTS, not ends. Successful books are a success because the author(s) push them, not beacuse the company gets behind them. Most publishing companies assume everything will be mediocre and only put marketing $$ behind those books that are starting to demonstrate the traits of a success.

One implication: be extremely generous with review copies. Any visibility in your market segment makes it easier to get more marketing attention and, of course, is good for your book sales overall [2]

Hope this is helpful stuff!

Notes:

[1] I do tech editing of books, particularly those with a business focus if anyone’s interested, and have tech edited at least 30 books in the last decade. It’s fun and a nice chance to help improve a product. [References]

[2] And this is why if any one of you would like a review copy of my nineteenth book, Growing Your Business with Google, and have a legitimate outlet for a review, even just on your well-read weblog, please contact me and I’ll forward your request along to the publicists at Penguin. I’ve sent out at least 50 copies of the book to reviewers at this point in time.
by this point in time…

Tracking the 2.0 Buzz

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 01/12/06

It seems that every virtual corner I turn there’s talk about tracking the buzz from 2.0 social media tools e.g., blogs, boards, Flickr, etc. The marketing research profession is entering an exciting (although some may find it uncomfortable) phase in the development of data collection and analysis techniques. The field (literally!) has gone from asking questions via door-to-door interviewing to listening to virtual conversations.

Granted, the use of consumer generated media (CGM) as a credible research tool, is in its infancy (historically researchers seem to move cautiously…look how long it took for firms to embrace online research); however, consumer generated media is too rich to overlook. Some companies are beginning to explore CGM as a supplement to traditional research for information about:

  • Brand buzz -who.what.where
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Product development and improvement
  • Pre launch buzz
  • Early warning crisis management
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Voice of the customer

I understand that Chrysler is using CGM to track trends. They’ve gone from mining data at a high level – sensibilities about specific models to a more granular level of information about features and attributes. The next step is better understanding the influencers and how the information flows.

Just yesterday I heard from a reliable source that a popular Atlanta beverage company is reviewing research firms that monitor digital conversations.
However, for CMG to become accepted as a mainstream, credible technique marketing research professionals will be challenged to:

  • Incorporate CGM information into the findings from traditional methodologies
  • Develop a standard of credibility that is acceptable by practitioners and academics
  • Determine what is white noise and what is significant information without sanitizing the data

Here’s one to ponder …

Information is any difference that makes a difference. – Gregory Batson

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Fortune 500 Blog Wiki

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/31/05

Earlier this year, I put out a call on this site as to how many of the Fortune 500 companies were blogging. I guessed "somewhere in the 3-6% range currently." Yesterday I got an email from Wired Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, saying that he had wondered the same thing over dinner with Doc Searls. More specifically, they wondered whether companies that were thriving did not blog because they had less to gain from such openness while companies fighting to grow or regain market share were more inclined to blog, and whether this was a trend that could be correlated to companies’ business performance. So, Anderson set some Wired interns to the task and came up with this post describing what they found. Further, together with Ross Mayfield at Socialtext, they created the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki to keep track of the trend. (I’m gratified to note that my original estimate seems to be holding true: the collaborative effort has identified public blogs at 4% of the Fortune 500 firms.)

New Blog Survey on the Block

Posted by: of Made for Marketing on 11/11/05

Tim Manners, publisher of Reveries ‘Cool News’, has released a blogging survey in the face of some of the negative blog related data coming out of AdAge and Forbes.  The objective is to get the marketers’ and agencies’ takes on the real skinny of what’s going on with blogs and gauge the sentiments of the marketers who have to defend ‘the brands and the lives that blogs allegedly destroy’, according to the Forbes article.

In an email to Cool News Today subscribers, Tim put it this way.

In view of the rapidly growing impact of blogs, we have developed a survey to
get underneath the hype and find out how marketers (both brand and agency)
actually view blogs — as a potential useful tool or lurking danger — and to
what extent, in fact, our readers currently monitor blogs as the Forbes
article recommends:

Take the survey here:
http://response.surveyincite.com/survey/18667.jsp

The results of this survey will be available to all participants to
judge for themselves whether they are ahead or behind on the blogging curve.

There have been a number of blog surveys this year but none has really given us the ‘complete truth’ or the whole picture.  However, I think that the more of these we do and the higher the response rates, the closer we get to having a real understanding of what the blogosphere means to the advertising and marketing community.

The Business of Blogging

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 11/4/05

A few months ago Technorati invited over 30,000 subscribers to its email newsletter to participate in a 18 question survey on blogging. There were 821 respondents.

The survey found that most bloggers blog to position themselves as an authority in their field and were fairly skeptical of corporate blogs, noting more trust in individual employee blogs.

You can view much of the raw results in tablular and graphical format on the Edelman site and some analysis on the Edelman blog. Technorati has published their own summary findings of the survey and eMarketer has published their take as well.

eMarketer is also offering a new report on business blogging:

The Business of Blogging report aggregates the latest data from Blogads,
Forrester Research, Gallup, Harris Interactive, InsightExpress, Perseus
Development, Pew Internet & American Life Project, Quris, Technorati, TNS
and many others—with eMarketer’s objective, unbiased analysis to give you the
information you need to make well-informed business decisions on the future of
online marketing.

Traditional media seems committed to sending out mixed messages about business blogging:
Fortune – No escaping the blog

Forbes – Attach of the Blogs

BusinessWeek – Blogs will Change your Business

Reports like “The Business of Blogging” seem more attractive to those looking for objective insight. But is it objective?  I have not purchased the report and if anyone else has, I would be curious about your thoughts on it.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Posted by: of One By One Media on 11/3/05

According to a newly released report from Pew Internet & American Life Project teens are very blog savvy.  According to the report, 19% of teens are blogging, and 38% of teens are reading blogs. The number of teen blog readers translates to 8 million young adults.

Teens are adopting the use of the internet for many functions including downloading music, using IM, making online purchases, and more importantly to the blogosphere, they are deemed to be "content creators".  The study reflects

Today’s online teens live in a world filled with self authored customized and on demand content much of which is easily replicated, manipulated and redistributable.  The internet and digital publishing technologies have given them tools to create, remix and share content on a scale that had previously only been accessible to the professional gatekeepers of broadcast, print, and recorded media outlets.

What does this mean for the future?

Contuinue Reading

Blogging Destroying American Productivity

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 10/25/05

In an article entitled What Blogs Cost American Business, AdAge.com contends that in 2005 alone, employees will waste 551,000 years reading blogs at work.

Some interesting factoids:

  • 35 millions workers (25%) visit blogs and spend on average 3.5 hours a week at them.
  • Time spent in the office on non-office work blogs is equivalent to 2.3 million jobs.
  • U.S. workers will wast 2.3 million business work years this year alone.

What the the article doesn’t mention is if these lost hours are coming out of actual productivity, or the time we spent looking for good travel deals or checking last night’s sports scores, and will Expedia and ESPN suffer because of this.

It also doesn’t talk about the fact that most American workers work longer hours, work through lunch and take our laptops and Blackberries home with us. Don’t we deserve some time to blog off?

This story found via Blogcritics.org.

New corporate blogging survey grossly inflates percentage of companies that are blogging

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 10/20/05

Sorry, I can’t let this one pass. As much as I’d like to believe the reported results of the iUpload and Guidewire Group Corporate Blogging Survey released this week, I can’t. The survey reports that 89% of companies are blogging. And that corporate adoption of blogging is entering the hyper growth phase.

Here’s the rub. The conclusions are based on 140 respondents. That’s far too small a number from which to draw such a sweeping conclusion. In addition, the way the survey was conducted taints the results. DoubleClick research director Rick Bruner (yes, Rick is the brains behind this blog!) spoke with Mike Sigal of Guidewire Group to find out more. Rick emailed me the following:

"I think the sample size is less of an issue than the sample recruitment methodology…

Oh, and not so coincidentally, perhaps, iUpload sells an enterprise blogging platform. Download the  iUpload and Guidewire Group Corporate Blogging Survey here.

…He [Mike] said they sent out invitations from some
mailing list that should have been representative of the Fortune 500…
But they also put the word out to lots of [bloggers], who posted about
the survey on their blogs. Meaning that a significant number of
respondents were self-selected. Hence, it’s likely that companies who
are particularly tuned into business blogs were more likely to respond."

Makes
sense, doesn’t it? I know I was one of the respondents who took the
survey and I suspect every blogging "consultant" or expert also took it
just to see what questions were being asked. Add up the number of non-corporate respondents to the survey and I wager you’re well under 100 statistically valid responses.

In comparison, I got over 700 responses [PDF of results] to a survey I ran last summer on business blogging. The clearest result from that survey: Time is the top Fear Factor when it comes to corporate blogging.
Other results: 55% of respondents said blogging will become a
"must-have" corporate marketing tool. But it’s not quite here yet. My
survey was publicized to the 15,000-plus subscribers to my
e-newsletter, WordBiz Report.

Download the survey
You can download the iUpload and Guidewire Group Corporate Blogging Survey here. Read with a grain of salt. Then do leave a comment below. Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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