Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summary of findings from Independent Study on Corporate Blogs:

I started Biz Blog Review at http://bizblogreview.blogspot.com/ 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.

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