Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blog Writing By Bosses?

In an article today by Rachel Rosmarin on Forbes.com, she quotes from an interview with Anil Dash, VP of Professional Products at software firm Six Apart:

Forbes.com: Critics say all blogging will do for a company is increase its Google hits. Is that the only upside to maintaining one?

Dash: If you're an online retailer, there's truth to the fact that blogging drives traffic. But if you're another kind of company, the real return on investment comes from simple scenarios: You can collect community feedback, but surveys can be expensive and time-wasting; the expense associated with getting 100 comments back can be
great. But with a blog, you can do it in 24 hours. You can also measure the success of delivering information. There's an expense associated with e-mail that gets lost via spam filters or bounced-back. With a blog, you can insure delivery and then track metrics to see who read the information and clicked through. That's a quantifiable improvement over the communication tools most companies are using today.

Is it important to have a C-level executive contribute to a corporate blog?

If, as company, [you're] saying you want to be thought leaders, then it makes sense to have those C-levels blogging because that goes directly to your credibility. But if your aim is interaction with the public, then anyone can do it.

Now, I'm not pushing Six Apart's products, (I do this the free way just to prove a point) but you would think they understand a little bit about blogging. But as those of you who are regular readers know, I don't agree with anyone 100 percent on general principle. The last line in that quote, "anyone can do it" is a little misleading. It may be simple enough for anyone to do it, but realistically not everyone can do this properly. Just take a walk through the blogosphere. It takes a special kind of professional with a fairly specific set of skills to do it right. Oh, and that other little thing: Time! Here's one last quote from Ms. Rosmarin's article that's right on point.
Blogging isn't a huge financial commitment--Six Apart's business software costs as little as $90 per month--but it still requires other resources--primarily time, as an executive or a team of employees must be tapped to make regular contributions.

So, unless you're willing to devote the time necessary to do it right, your business blog will suffer. My thinking is: "Why start something that has a good chance of failing in the end because due diligence was not applied?"

That's where a professional ghostwriter/editor/blog manager comes in. The proof will be right in front of your nose. And a lot of noses for that matter!



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