A Guide to Corporate Blogging looks at why blogging is crucial to corporations and outlines 13 Steps Fortune 500 companies take to create a blog. Cisco, Intel and HP share their experiences and approach to blogging.
The first 2 steps are the most important. Number 1 is to determine if blogging is a good fit for your company – it may not be. Remember just because other similar organisations are doing it does not mean that you have to follow suit. There may be other, more appropriate channels of communication for your company. Number 2 is determine if your company is willing to invest in a blog. Although blogs can be built on free platforms, time and money will be needed to customize it. Then there is the cost of allocating staff hours for blogging, maintaining the blog and managing comments and feedback.
Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5media, noted, “A bad blog is worse than no blog. A dead blog is worse than no blog. But an engaging blog is one of the best things in the world that you can do for your business.”
The remaining steps are:
3. Create a strategy
4. Ensure that everyone is on the same page
5. Determine the Involvement of PR
6. Select Bloggers
7. Train the Bloggers
8. Writing Posts
9. Realize that the Blog doesn’t need a tone
11. Establish a Comment Policy
12. Develop a Promotion Strategy
13. Establish a Measurement program
The 33 comments to the posting take up more room than the article itself but are worth reading. A couple of them mention the initial time involved to get started but that it is worth it in the long run in terms of increased traffic and business.
Library 2.0 at the University of Wolverhampton is a guest post on Brian Kelly’s UK Web Focus from Jo Alcock, Academic Information Assistant for the Harrison Learning Centre, University of Wolverhampton. She summarises how they use blogs, Facebook, wikis and online calendars to support users. The major part of the posting is about the barriers they have encountered such as issues with external hosting and software, lack of awareness of the technologies being used, the need for culture change, and user needs and experience.
What “Not To Do” while you grow your blogging empire lists eight things not to do when blogging or commenting on other people’s blogs. They should be obvious but some people still do them 😦 . The ones that I find especially annoying are irrelevant comments (they are usually an unsubtle form of spam and I delete them as such), anonymous comments (I agree with Rajesh Setty that you should have the backbone to stand behindyour comments), and copying content without attribution.
Thanks to the British Library Business and IP Centre’s BIPC Twitterfeed for the alert.
WeblogMatrix – Compare them all does not quite do what it says on the tin. As Phil Bradley points out it does not include LiveJournal or Typepad. Nevertheless, it does help you identify the most appropriate blogging software for your needs. If you already have a shortlist you can compare features side by side – assuming, of course, that they are included in the 25 blog services covered by this site. You should be able to identify likely candidates for your shortlist by clicking on Search and selecting criteria.This worked the first time I tried it a couple of weeks ago but today keeps coming up with the same two packages regardless of what I select. Hopefully that is a temporary glitch.
There is a similar service for wikis at http://www.wikimatrix.org/ .
Another application for using a blog – keeping your users up to date on the progress of your library’s refurbishment. The University of Bolton Library Refurbishment blog does just that and the department has been praised for the approach they have taken in informing their users of the progress of the project.
For some applications of blogs it may be more useful to list your postings with the oldest first rather than the standard ‘newest first’. Examples include a CPD blog where you are recording your training, thoughts on your professional development, meetings with mentors etc or a blog that records the progress of a project. At present, neither Blogger nor WordPress offer an alternative to the standard reverse chronological order: TypePad, which is a subscription service, does. Go to Configure and under Post Listing Preferences, Order of Posts check the Oldest first (Ascending) radio button.
There are several TypePad pricing options starting at USD 49.50/year.
The Useful Chemistry Blog has reported on the Rosania Lab Open Notebook Science Wiki. 1CellPK is the new home of the Subcellular Drug Transport Laboratory at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.
To quote from their wiki home page:
“Open Notebook Science is ideally suited for community-wide collaborative research projects involving mathematical modeling and computer simulation work, as it allows researchers to document model development in a step-by-step fashion, then link model prediction to experiments that test the model, and in turn, use feedback from experiments to evolve the model. By making our laboratory notebooks public, the evolutionary process of a model can be followed in its totality by the interested reader. Researchers from laboratories around the world can now follow the progress of our research day-to-day, borrow models at various stages of development, comment or advice on model developments, discuss experiments, ask questions, provide feedback, or otherwise contribute to the progress of science in any manner possible.”
If your blog hosting service does not provide statistics on who or how many people are visiting your blog, Sitemeter is one of the more popular tools that can be installed. There is a free and a priced premium version but many people find that the free version is more than adequate. Once you have signed up, there are instructions on how to install it on different blogging platforms. As well as page views and visits, it provides stats on browser use, operating system, location and entry pages.
JISC Involve was brought to my attention by one of the participants at the recent UKeiG Beyond Google workshop. To quote the web site: “JISC Involve is provided by JISC as a free service to the JISC community. Anyone with a .ac.uk email address can sign up instantly and be blogging in minutes.”
The service uses WordPress but blogs set up via this route have jiscinvolve.org instead of wordpress.com in the URL of the blog.