For the past couple of months I have been involved in the development of a new blog, SpywareDaily.com, for anti-spyware company Pareto Logic who based in British Columbia, Canada. It has been an enjoyable project as I have had to work closely with the team at Pareto Logic and had to adapt the designs from their graphic design team into a blog. The company has taken the right option and engaged the full-time services of a 'resident blogger' - a really neat idea. The blog, in the words of Pareto Logic, is:
"part of its educational strategy and ongoing efforts to address
current and emerging security threats to computer users, ParetoLogic
Inc. unveiled today their educational blog: www.SpywareDaily.com
SpywareDaily.com is designed to educate users on best practices of
protecting themselves from Spyware and security threats that interfere
with normal use and enjoyment of personal computers."
Having written the first few articles myself, the guys have now found their voice and are starting to write some really good and varied articles on subjects such as:
Rant: IE7, Microsoft Woes, and PC Addiction
Spyware Down Under
Is Google Evil?
Stream of Spyware Consciousness
More Viruses and Worms Dropping Spyware
Updating Your Security Arsenal
In order to get the word out they used PR Newswire to good effect and have started to get into the habit of leaving high-value comments on related websites. Periodically, I'll keep posting on how the blog is doing.
For the second year running you can get the chance to meet, listen and network with the great and the good of blogging at the Blog Business Summit. This year the event will take place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco from the 17th-19th August. It looks like they have some excellent sessions lined up, which will cover practically everything there is to know about corporate blogging. Here is a taster of some of the sessions on offer:
Keynote: Why Microsoft is Betting Big on Bloggers and RSS
Lessons Learned and Best Practices: the GM and Intuit Experience
Debbie Weil, Paul Rosenfeld and Michael Wiley
Building Traffic: Posting isn’t Enough!
Robert Scoble, Dave Taylor
Staying On Top of the Buzz: Blog Monitoring Tools and Techniques
Pete Blackshaw, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Bob Wyman
Good Blog Design: Speed, Accessibility, Transparency, and Clarity
Blog Writing Style: Strategy and Tactics for Successful Posting
Molly Holzschlag, Darren Barefoot
Incorporating HTML and RSS Ads Into Your Content
Building a Blog Network
Stowe Boyd, Paul Scrivens
Technorati Tags: blogging | scoble | microsoft
Here's an interesting story from ZDNET regarding blogs and advertising. Quoting a Forrester survey they state that :
"64% of respondents to Forrester's survey said they are interested in advertising on blogs, 57% through RSS".
Marketing Sherpa has just posted the results of the Marketing Sherpa 10 Best Blogs for 2005. I am not sure what's more interesting - the results of the survey or the fact that of the 173,000 who were invited to cast their votes, only 2,065 people actually did vote - that's just 1.2%. Anyway, here are the categories that people were invited to vote on:
Best individual's blog on the general topic of marketing and advertising - actually won by Seth Godin
Best group weblog on the general topic of marketing and advertising
Best PR-topic blog - Interestingly, Paul Rubel of Micropersuasion didn't even get a mention!
Best B-to-B marketing-topic blog
Best blog on small business marketing
Best blog on online marketing
Blogs on Search Marketing
Best Blog on Niche Marketing
Best non-English-Language Blog
Top readers' choice write-in vote
All the winners and 'honorable mentions' can be found on the Marketing Sherpa site.
I have been helping a Canadian Anti-Spyware company, called Pareto Logic, develop a corporate blog over the past couple of months. The blog, Spyware Daily, aims to "tackle issues relating to Spyware, Adware, Internet Threats and Other Important Technology Issues". It has certainly been an interesting project and we are almost at the point where we feel confident that we can spin it out to the Internet community.
However, before the PR engine is cranked up and we start letting people know about this anti-spyware blog, I thought I'd invite visitors to take a look at Spyware Daily and let me know what they think. I'm interested in all comments, from the banner header and navigation style to the content and side bar modules. I would appreciate all comments (but don't make them too nasty!!). Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
Here's an interesting blog for you - The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster. It is written by Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming who asumes the role of none other than Darth Vader. There aren't many articles on there to date but the quality of the postings and the knowledge of the author (not being a Star Wars buff I make this assumption) is amazing.
This is one article that really made me laugh:
Due to the haste with which we are proceding through the latter phases
of this battle-station's construction we have been forced to employ
scores of civilian contractors from across the galaxy in addition to
our own Imperial Corps of Engineers. This had led to a certain clash of
For instance, this morning I critiqued a tragically sub-par piece of
workmanship on a tractor-beam repulsolift inversion assembly by
snapping the neck of the site supervisor and throwing his limp corpse
down a disused elevator shaft.
Imperial engineers would have snapped to crisp attention, of course,
but all these civilian contractors did was give me [was] grief. "Oy, you
do that again and I'll have the union on you!" barked one red-faced
"It is vital that you enhance the inter-departmental syngergies of your operation," I said. And then I killed him.
Priceless! A website hasn't made me laugh this much for a long time.
What this blog proves is that a good writing style, an in-depth knowledge and passion about your subject and timeliness can work well to create successful, engaging blogs.
According to Hugh Macleod at Gaping Void, it's as simple as that! For a complete break down of what the above represents, read his interesting article the porous membrane: why corporate blogging works.
Macromedia, responsible for Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks, has posted a quarterly loss, made people redundant yet many are saying that the future looks rosy for the company. This is due to the fact that the company has embraced blogging totally - introducing it into their software and even setting up their own blogs.
Recently, the company released new versions of its main products - Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Cold Fusion - and needed a way to respond to the expected questions from users and developers. According to Wired:
"...although some at Macromedia thought about creating a blog on
Macromedia's site to address customers' questions, "we decided to
experiment with the (third-party) blogs," Hale said.
Macromedia had five of its "community managers" create their own weblogs using Radio and Blogger, two of the most popular blog publishers. (The bloggers are John Dowdell, Mike Chambers, Matt Brown, Vernon Viehe and Bob Tartar.)
The blogs would provide a forum for the managers to discuss the new
products, show developers how to use some of the new features and
answer questions. Most importantly, the community managers would write
like bloggers, with that casual, this-great-idea-just-occurred-to-me
tone which sometimes makes weblogs so addictive."
The new blogs offer advice and tips and provide a forum for people to ask questions on the latest products. From what I have seen there is certainly a lot of interaction through comments and the sites provide a bundle of links to other bloggers and Macromedia tools. Macromedia are certainly pointing the way forward for corporate blogging and I'm sure that many companies will be very interested in their Blog Strategy.
Robert Scoble, of Scobleizer and Microsoft fame, is currently working on a book with Shel Israel, a PR consultant. The book will be published by Wiley, is due out in January, and will focus on business blogging. Much of their thoughts on the book's content and direction is actually being shared with visitors online, through their Red Couch blog - hell!, you can actually help contribute to it by adding your own comments on the site. For companies looking to develop their own blog presence, the corporate blogging tips may be of some interest:
Corporate Blog Tip #1 (improving the title tag) - features some neat thoughts on how to come up with a title for your blog. Spend time doing this as, in essence, you will be creating your own Blog Brand.
Corporate Blog Tip #2 (read a bunch of blogs before you start) - the blog search engines are a good start for searching for something specific. For random blogs just go to Typepad and take a look at their featured weblogs or Recently Updated weblogs.
Corporate Blog Tip #3 (write in a granular style) - try to keep to one idea per posting.
Corporate Blog Tip #4 and #5 (demonstrate your passion and authority) - Robert Scoble actually says in his own corporate blog manifesto: "You should know more about your product than anyone else alive, if you're writing a
weblog about it. If there's someone alive who knows more, you damn well better have
links to them (and you should send some goodies to them to thank them for being
such great advocates.)"
Corporate Blog Tip #6 (add comments) - I would just like to add to this - you should always aim to add value to the author's article by leaving thoughtful comments. Don't spam!
Corporate Blog Tip #7 (make yourself accessible) - I just love Robert Scoble's thoughts on leaving his cell phone number on his site so that anyone can call him!
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Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's Blogging Book - A Case of Open Source Book Writing?