Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The 32 Corporate/Executive Blogs Analyzed:

I researched the following 32 company blogs (or executive blogs representative of the company) for statistical analysis to try to determine how effective the blog is as a business communication tool:

Hewlett Packard
Dow Jones: Wall Street Journal
Sun Microsystems and
Wiley & Sons
Mercer Capital
Cisco Systems
Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Jupiter Research
Red Hat
Forrester Research, Inc.
Schwimmer & Associates
Wired News
Burson Marsteller
Hitachi Data Systems
Versant Solutions


Thank you to the following USC faculty and staff for your contributions:

Professor Sandra Chrystal -- Associate Professor of Clinical
Center for Management Communication -- Marshall School of Business

Jude Higdon -- Project Manager
Teaching & Learning Services -- Center for Scholoarly Technology

Professor Bert Steece -- Professor
Department of Information & Operations Management -- Marshall School of Business

Professor Ronald Bruck -- Professor
Director of Math Computing Labs -- Mathematics Department

Professor Rex Kovacevich -- Associate Professor of Clinical
Department of Marketing -- Marshall School of Business

Professor Steve Posner -- Part Time Lecturer
Center for Management Communication --Marshall School of Business

Thank you to the following corporate executives willing to answer my questions:

Mr. Mohammed Amin -- International Taxation Specialist, Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Mr. Bob Sutor -- Vice President of Standards and Open Source, IBM

Mr. David Gee -- Vice President of Hewlett Packard's Worldwide Marketing, Software, Technology Solutions Group

Ms. Susan Underhill -- Vice President of Hewlett Packard's Global Certification and Partner Education

Mr. John Earnhardt -- Media Spokesperson, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Mr. Brad Berens -- Executive Editor, iMediaConnection, Inc.

Mr. Chris Charron -- Vice President and Research Director, Forrester Research

Mr. Neville Hobson -- Communicator, Blogger and Podcaster
One of the leading European early adopters and influencers in social media communication for business.

Mr. John Cass -- Director of Blogging Strategies, Backbone Media

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Independent Study on Corporate Blogs -- Academic Achievements

Personally, I learned so much from Professor Sandra Chrystal as my mentor and from this study of blog-use as a business writing tool. Here is some of what I gained:
  • improved writing skills for print and online work
  • broadened perspectives on technology and business trends
  • stronger critical thinking skills for analysis
  • enhanced quantitative abilities for statistical application
  • developed professional conduct and contacts

During the study, I produced the following work:

1. Research paper -- "Why is corporate blogging relevant to business students?"

Achievement: 1st prize in Professionalism -- USC Undergraduate Writing Competition 2006

Internship: Imedia Connection Inc.

2. Knowledge Management System -- Biz Blog Review

Achievement: Grand Prize -- USC Webfest 2006

3. Independent Study on Corporate Blogs --

Statistical analysis of 32 corporate blogs; two research papers based on primary research interviews with corporate bloggers and academics; guest speaker to advanced business writing class at USC Marshall School of Business with video footage; and knowledge management system.

Achievement: Honors -- USC Undergraduate Symposium 2006

The USC Chronicle article, "Taking Another Leap in Technology", discussing this study is accessible at this link:

Summary of findings from Independent Study on Corporate Blogs:

I started Biz Blog Review at to research and evaluate corporate blogs for an independent study. For this study, I analyzed 32 corporate blogs for the Spring 2006 semester. These blogs are listed in my blogroll.

A summary of the study findings are as follows:

A link exists between the frequency of posts to a business blog and the number of comments which may be used to indicate how successful a blog is as a business communication tool. The analysis of data obtained from the study appears 'noisy' and even when transformed poses difficulties in interpretation. A number of outliers are present.

Corporate blogs have a specific business objective and the blog platform is designed to achieve that objective.

Stages of development are evident in the evolution of the corporate blog as it impacts the online community and the executive blogger. Vice President of Standards and Open Source at IBM -- Bob Sutor -- recently consolidated his blog creating an Open Blog on his site:

The personal voice of the executive blogger is an important connector to the audience in the writing process. Bob Lutz -- GM's Vice President -- is professional yet personally engages his audience while expressing a business message.

The psychology present in the corporate blog pertaining to the message and the executive, and how it impacts the blog function, is another captivating field to look at.

The blogroll (links to other business blogs) may be indicative of a corporate network if the executive blogger links to other corporate blogs.

Not all corporate blogs have obvious blog policies and liability statements, such as the Club Siemens blog. Comparing corporate policy on blogging is an area of study in itself.

Some corporate blogs cease after achieving a purpose or are not updated, such as the Nike Art of Speed blog and the Ford Mustang blog. The reasons why corporations stop blogging is also an intriguing domain to explore.

Certain blogs do not invite comment, but are effective even though posts average 5-10 a month, such as Randy's Journal belonging to Randy Baseler of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Some companies have a number of high profile executive blogs, such as Hewlett Packard, while others sport one executive blog only.

Corporate blogs are growing in number even though warnings of liability continue to echo from the legal community. Measuring the value of corporate blogs in terms of ROI is a fairly new field and is what the business of blogging boils down to.