Sunday, February 26, 2006

Blog Decision-Making

When I originally created my blog, three particular aspects needed consideration (amongst others): posts, photos, and advertising.


At the start of my Independent Study, I had little experience of blog-use or blog-creation, and initially I tried to post all materials related to my study – such as the BUAD 490 Independent Study Proposal, Assignments, and Questions to Address. My Mentor – Professor Sandra Chrystal – and I discussed the direction of my blog and concluded that we would use the blog more as a knowledge management/research tool. Therefore I deleted some of the earlier posts that are more an “administrative-type feature” of my BUAD 490 class.


Deciding on whether or not to have my photo on my blog took some consideration. Initially, I posted my photo but removed it later because I thought it could pose a risk to personal safety. For a time, I posted my logo instead. Recently, I replaced the logo with the photo again because most corporate blogs appear to have a photo of the blog author. The presence of the photo is important in communicating credibility – the author takes responsibility for blog posts.

Logo: Fiona Torrance

In the design of the logo is a 2 B (for Biz Blog) and part of the B becomes an R for Review. The circle completes the design and joins part of the B and R creating an extended handle of a "magnifying glass" (also signifying the "Review" of Business/Corporate Blogs).

Advertising: give registered users the option of AdSense – to allow Google to place advertisements on the blog in exchange for payments. I decided not to have advertising on the Biz Blog Review site because I felt that advertising would detract from the content of my site, and because I wanted to remain independent from advertising companies. Since I am reviewing corporate blogs, the presence of corporate advertisements on my site may communicate an influence that I want to avoid.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Corporate Blog Mimics

Corporations and companies may be at risk of being a victim of the "Corporate Blog Mimic" if they do not have a blog. Blogging impacts corporations whether they have a blog or not.

This week I conclude my research of 32 specific corporate blogs with an analysis of this data to follow in the coming week. During the course of searching for corporate blogs and visiting many sites, I discovered a number of interesting blogs that at first glance appear to represent a specific corporation or company, such as the StarbucksGossip Blog at:

What a discovery until you read the content and the "About Me". At least the author states under the One-Line Bio
"Not affiliated with Starbucks Corporation (obviously)".

Does Starbucks have a blog? The answer is "no".

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Why doesn't Starbucks have a blog? I'll contact the company to find out and let you know the results.

Deleted Posts Have A Life!

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Does have an ethical responsibility to inform their registered users about the "infinite?" existence of their deleted posts?

Approximately two weeks ago, I encountered some problems with my blog - my profile and my blogroll disappeared into the ether, so I went in search of them. What I discovered in the course of this search was all of my deleted posts - alive and well in the search engine for anyone to peruse (Example: BUAD 490 Independent Study Proposal).

When initially registering with and setting up my site, I encountered no guidance instructing me that all deleted posts would remain on the site for future access. Although the entries that I deleted are professional in their presence, it did concern me that as a registered inhabitant of I was not informed of their continued "life after death" so to speak.

Other bloggers, having deleted a post perhaps considered inappropriate after the thought, may not know that their inappropriate content is still accessible by anybody searching the site. I think has a responsibility to make this fact more transparent to their registered users. What do you think and why?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Harold Burson started blogging for Burson-Marsteller on Feb 15, 2006!

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Harold Burson is the founder of Burson-Marsteller, "a leading global public relations and public affairs firm" (

The blog recruitment device

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Here is an example of how Amazon use their blog to recruit a Web Services Evangelist.

Why do Web Services need Evangelists?

Will Bob Royce - iUpload - answer my question?

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Tonight, I posted a question on Bob Royce's blog as follows:

"Many teens are using sites, such as, posting personal information that leaves a trail detectable by future prospective employers. Even when bloggers on delete posts, the entries are still accessible via google search. What responsibility do you think initiators of blog software, such as, have to educating youngsters, and other users, on their sites prior to registration about the pitfalls of blogging blindly?"

Although I am in the process of emailing a number of executives with questions about blogs, this is the first comment that I have posted on an executive blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

PriceWaterHouseCooper Blogger -Mohammed Amin

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Mohammed Amin's Finance and Treasury Blog is Powered by Typepad and was started in October 2005.

Mohammed Amin is a Specialist in Taxation of Foreign Exchange, Derivatives, and Corporate Debt at PriceWaterHouseCoopers.

The blog currently features the following advice on implications when changing from UK GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) to EU-endorsed IFRS (International Finance Reporting Standards):

"Very briefly, changing from UK GAAP to IFRS will have three possible implications for the computation of profits for accounting and tax purposes."

  • Profits may be accelerated. In certain cases, IFRS requires faster revenue recognition than does UK GAAP. Under IFRS may require them to be recognised immediately upon receipt as income.
  • Profits may be decelerated. IFRS may require a higher level of provisioning for certain types of risk, or otherwise defer the recognition of income.
  • There may be little change.


The Guinness Blog - select access

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The Guinness Company in Great Britain have a blog that requests information and then either denies or gives access to bloggers. Steve Rubel (MicroPersuasion) pointed out in an email that this may be a protection against marketing alcohol to minors, however - I was denied access based on the country I am in, not on my birth date. Here is the link:
What do you think about allotting selective access to blogs?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sifry - Corporate Bloggers are Proliferating

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"Even though some of the largest technology companies are represented in this graph, to me this shows that we are still at the relative start of accepted use of blogging as a part of corporate policy - and that there is still a tremendous opportunity for forward-thinking companies and management to have a significant positive impact on their public perception by encouraging an enlightened blogging policy, encouraging openness both within and outside of the organization" (Sifry - Technorati).

Sifry particularly refers to forward-thinking companies and management - how their use of blogging as part of corporate policy and an enlightened blogging policy with encouragement of internal and external organizational openness - impact public perception with positive significance. Questions, in light of this statement, are as follows:
  • Which forward-thinking companies and management are blogging and why or why did they stop?
  • Is blogging part of their corporate policy?
  • What characterizes an enlightened blogging policy?
  • Does their blogging policy contain these enlightened characteristics?
  • Do these corporations encourage internal and external openness and how is this visible?
  • Which of these corporations are impacting public perception and how do we determine this impact?
  • Is the impact positively or negatively significant?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Reflection on paper submission to USC Undergraduate Writing Competition titled: “Why is corporate blogging relevant to business students?”

Writing this paper and reflecting on it is a great learning experience, and the major reflections started the morning after the submission in Professor Sandra Chrystal’s office.

Here is a summary of the dialogue that followed:

Professor Chrystal: “Fiona, here – take a look at your paper and tell me what you would do differently.”

Fiona: “Let’s see … (taking a look at the first page of the paper) … I would change the way I structured it.”

Professor Chrystal: “Here’s a pen, write the changes down.”

Fiona: “Starting on the part with my own research, I would place my findings under headings and then discuss corporate blog comparisons in light of the findings, linking this to why it is relevant to students. Under the heading, “Blogs develop corporate networks”, I need to single out specific blogs and show how these blogs develop networks and how this is relevant to students. What is also interesting is who is listed and linked via the blogroll of various corporate blogs.”

Professor Chrystal: “Do you think the Pew Survey information belongs where you placed it?”

Fiona: “Pew Study … (taking a look at page 3) … what I need to do is show how corporations network on blogs through use of the blogroll, leading into showing the growth of corporate blogs, and then introduce the Pew Study. A comparison of different survey findings would be useful – such as with Jupiter and the writers4business one. This establishes the importance of corporate blogs and why business students need to be aware of their uses and impacts.”

Professor Chrystal: “And what would you do differently about how blogs create a published history?”

Fiona: (Looking at page 1) I did not effectively show how students’ personal blogs affect their professional lives.”

Professor Chrystal: “What do students learn from blogging?”

Fiona: “Critical thinking, writing, and statistical interpretation (evidence).”

Fiona: (Looking at pages 6-8) “Yes, and the entire section on blog-use in the classroom, discerning between blogs in terms of authenticity, quality, and credibility, including the ethics section needs to move under the heading of “blogs in business involves learning to interact and write more effectively”. A summary comparison of blog ethics policies, such as Sun’s and IBM’s, would be useful. The paper needs to be reshuffled.”

Professor Chrystal: “What will help you restructure your paper?”

Fiona: “Stopping in the middle of writing it, walking away for a while, and then doing another outline?”

Professor Chrystal: “Yes, but also storyboarding – create a storyboard of your arguments with questions and answers. Or write down sentences starting with “This is true (referring to argument or answer) because…”

Fiona: (Light bulb went on).

Monday, February 13, 2006

What does BusinessWeek say about "Blogspotting"?

Corporate blog search is a monster growth area!

Stephen Baker says: "Long story short: Corporate blog and media search will be a busy intersection in coming years. Lots of development, conflicts, alliances, and M&A" (Business Week).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Interactive Communications Blog - Research for Coca-Cola Company

Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion discovered a Coca-Cola internal company blog on Typepad that now is password protected - you can view his comments at this link:


Frederick Wackå of W PR & Information AB also discusses this topic on his blog:

Coca-Cola's Australian "Unlimit Yourself" Launch:
(Started as one man's weblog - blog)

Discuss AT&T's Blogging Billboard:

View these source blogs:

Who took the photo? Where was it shot? And, does the blogger have a point?

The Corporate Weblog Manifesto

Microsoft Geek - Scobleizer - gives advice on considering a weblog about your product or company:
  • Tell the truth
  • Be fast on good news or bad
  • Use a human voice
  • Make sure you support the latest software/web/human standards
  • Have a thick skin
  • Don't ignore slashdot [?]
  • Talk to the grassroots first
  • If you skrew up, acknowledge it
  • Underpromise and over deliver
  • If Doc Searls [?] says it or writes it, believe it
  • Know the information gatekeepers
  • Never change the URL of your weblog
  • If your life is in turmoil and/or you're unhappy, don't write
  • If you don't have the answers, say so
  • Never lie
  • Never hide information
  • If you have information that might get you in a lawsuit, see a lawyer before posting, but do it fast
  • Link to your competitors and say nice things about them
  • BOGU. This means "Bend Over and Grease Up"
  • Be the authority on your product/company
  • Know who is talking about you


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why is blogging relevant to students?

  • Blogs create a published history by individual bloggers that can be used 'for' or 'against' them in the present or future.
  • Blogs are used for business purposes other than for social networking.
  • Blogs provide students with career information, interaction, and choices.
  • Blogs may be introduced into the classroom as content or as delivery mode.
  • Students need to learn how to discern between blogs in terms of quality, credibility, and authenticity.
  • Student bloggers need to be aware of blog policy,liability, and ethical issues.
  • Student bloggers need to learn modes of blogging to succeed in business communication.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blog Search Engines

Engines that assist "blogsurfers" to access blogs on different platforms. Here are some links:

The language of blogging

Short for Weblog. A website that contains written material, links or photos being posted all the time, usually by one individual, on a personal basis.

(To) blog:
Run a blog or post material on one.

Person who runs a blog.

All blogs, or the blogging community.

List of external links appearing on a blog, often links to other blogs and usually in a column on the homepage. Often amounts to a “sub-community” of bloggers who are friends.

Software used to run a blog.

Comment spam:
Like e-mail spam. Robot “spambots” flood a blog with advertising in the form of bogus comments. A serious problem that requires bloggers and blog platforms to have tools to exclude some users or ban some addresses in comments.

Content syndication:
How a site’s author or administrator makes all or part of its content available for posting on another website.

Contraction of “mobile blog.” A blog that can be updated remotely from anywhere, such as by phone or a digital assistant.

Contraction of “permanent link.” Web address of each item posted on a blog. A handy way of permanently bookmarking a post, even after it has been archived by the blog it originated from.

A blog mostly containing photos, posted constantly and chronologically.

Contraction of “iPod” and “broadcasting.” Posting audio and video material on a blog and its RSS feed, for digital players.

An item posted on a blog. Can be a message or news, or just a photo or a link. Usually a short item, including external links, that visitors can comment on.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication):
A way of handling the latest items posted on a website, especially suited for blogs because it alerts users whenever their favourite blogs are updated. It can also “syndicate” content by allowing other websites (simply and automatically) to reproduce all or part of a site’s content. Spreading fast, especially on media websites.

RSS aggregator:
Software or online service allowing a blogger to read an RSS feed, especially the latest posts on his favourite blogs. Also called a reader, or feedreader.

RSS feed:
The file containing a blog’s latest posts. It is read by an RSS aggregator/reader and shows at once when a blog has been updated.

A way that websites can communicate automatically by alerting each other that an item posted on a blog refers to a previous item.

Web diary:
A blog.

From the Hawaiian word “wikiwiki” (quick). A website that can be easily and quickly updated by any visitor. The word has also come to mean the tools used to create a wiki (wiki engines). Blogs and wikis have some similarities but are quite different.

Source: - Reporters Without Borders

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why does Bill Gates back blogs for business?

  • Blogs tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing.
  • Blogs also have advantages over other, older ways of communicating such as e-mail and
    websites because e-mail messages can be too imposing or miss out key people who should be included, and websites demand that people visit them regularly to find out if anything has changed and require regular updating to avoid going stale.
  • Blogs and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) timely means of letting people know when a favourite journal is updated.
  • Blogs make it very easy to communicate because you get and give the information you want when you want.
  • Blogs are a tool for competitive pitching.