My Photo

August 2007

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Corporate Line

  • The individuals who post here work at Intuit and are some of the best and brightest. The opinions expressed here, while probably right and certainly smart, are their own, and are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. Sometimes, the author is audacious and decides to post an opinion without a buddy reviewing it, and at other times, he or she may seek counsel of a friend. Regardless, these opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Intuit or any other person or company. Although, since these people are smart to begin with, Intuit might agree with them - or might not.
Powered by TypePad

Widgets

« Damned If You Do... | Main | Help Us Help You »

April 28, 2006

Behind the Curtain

Since I started blogging for Zipingo back in July, I've been checking out other company blogs. It's been a learning experience for sure. I've seen a myriad of styles and content.

Some bloggers are long-winded (like me), while others prefer to be short and sweet. Still, if I didn't know any better, I'd say the burgeoning attempts of company bloggers to connect with customers is nothing more than a marketing/PR ploy. ("Well, duh!", you say?)

It hasn't always been that way. Once upon a time, folks blogged for the heck of it, personal satisfaction, artistic expression, etcetera etcetera. But these days, I see , conferences, workshops and books on blog marketing, , the marketing of blogs, and, not to be outdone, . Then there are the tons of profile articles on bloggers, as if bloggers were the new celebrities. And brunette is the new blonde. Hmmm. I guess in many ways, both of those statements are true.

Now if you're rather U.S.-centric, I thought I'd point out that the matter of corporate blogging is not just a U.S. phenomenon. Heck, there's even an . Last month, . If you plan to be in Vienna in October, you might want to drop in at the conference. Darn. Wish I could devise a Zipingo business reason to go there on the company dime. I love Austria and I love . (sigh)

Lots of blogs on business blogging have emerged over the past half decade. There's a neat little resource on corporate blogging basics, so if you're reading this post hoping that I'd mention (and link to) one of those, you're in luck. For the corporate blogging-impaired and/or those seeking outside help, there's a company (or two or three or four) that provides .

So what's to be learned by all this Blogosphere business hubbub? And do I really think my stream-of-consciousness ramblings on the Zipingo Team Blog are going to entice anyone to visit often to on Zipingo? Probably not. I'm sure somebody out there is falling asleep just reading this....but I keep on writing anyway.

Now according to a , "companies that employ a well thought out blogging strategy encourage the strongest community goodwill, and that goodwill, in turn, promotes significant marketing and sales gains." Immediately, came to mind. Okay, then. Currently, Intuit derives no sales from Zipingo. But a blogging strategy would be nice. I'll draft one as soon as I finish driving the redesign on Zipingo's help area. By the way...Dammit Jim. I'm a community developer, not a marketer. So it's zilch on the marketing part of that statement, too.

I gotta wonder...what's in it for me, besides blogging being part of my job description? From my viewpoint, blogging is part ego, part social interaction. Truth be told (I love that saying), bloggers like me just enjoy connecting with people in general. Corporate Web sites can be so cold and lifeless sometimes. I mean, to the average user, there's little in the coding and copy of a site that reveals much about the real humans behind it anyway. Before business blogs, the only way a Web user could get to talk to the man (or woman) behind the curtain was to send an email and hope for a response.

Basically, what I'm saying is this: I like the creativity and freedom that corporate blogging provides. It's a far cry from having to sprint hurdles to get a news release or high-tech brochure signed off. I'm free to make a few points, make a few connections, and share my growing knowledge. And if I thought no one would ever read this post, I'd still derive self-satisfaction out of having written it at least.

But I'm not writing totally in a vaccuum. I do want to trade insights. So if you're reading this blog and you have something to share, especially if you're a corporate blogger, feel free to comment. It's like Birds of a Feather, you know? Oh, sure. Sometimes we feel like the stand-up comedian who taps the microphone and says, "I know you're out there. I can hear you breathing." Just so you know, I do check out the stats on the blog to verify that people are stopping by and reading more than one post. Yep, there's that ego thing.

Anyway, from a research perspective, I'd love to hear what corporate bloggers think about corporate blogging in general. Is it here to stay? How do you see it evolving over the next five years? And what about audio blogging, mobile blogging and photo blogging? How do they factor into your company blog plans? Let me know. I'm listening.

Gotta go. It's the last Friday of the month. I hear there's a chicken wing at the company Wing Ding with my name on it and I am starving. Take care...

~ Zipingo Kim

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452af8c69e200d8345ed10c69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Behind the Curtain:

» Why Blogging Can Build Your Brand Online from Backbone Blogging Survey
Zipingo is a website that allows you to rate businesses online. The website is provided as a service to Internet users by Intuit. The Zipingo website has a companion blog. The blog drew my attention today because one of the... [Read More]

Comments

rachna

Kim - You have a very engaging, conversational style of blogging!

I totally agree that the very basic motivator for bloggers is this urge to express their thoughts/opinions and share it with anyone and everyone out there, and connect with (like-minded) people.

Talking about corporate blogging -
- I feel that anyways conversations (good/bad) are happening out there about your product/service... So, why not engage and be a part of that conversation??
- What's important is: you want to 'be heard' or 'be herd'
- As a user (am not a corporate blogger, rather an individual who just loves to blog), what I find fascinating about corporate (specifically startup) blogs is - sharing their passion and views (hoping for dialogues... interactions) of their little-but-fast-growing world; product problems; product/feature ideas; their highs, their lows... with their community - 'we' the potential users. Guess, it sort of creates a bond between the product & its target users - with the latter being a witness to & involved with the creation of the former..

Easton Ellsworth

Kim, as John said, excellent post and thanks for referring to me.

You said, "Blogging is part ego, part social interaction. ... Bloggers like me just enjoy connecting with people in general." Amen - that's certainly true of all the bloggers I've worked alongside at Know More Media and nearly all other bloggers I've talked to as well.

Corporate blogging is here to stay. In five years, blogs will have evolved to where we might not even call them blogs anymore - much more functionality and zip to them - but the concept of robust publishing to the Web on a continuous basis and of participating openly in collaborative communication with customers, potential customers, competitors, naysayers and even just random visitors is here to stay.

Know More Media is a new blog network devoted to business topics. My blog covers corporate and professional blogging. If you ever want to talk business, hop on over and visit us! I work with the rest of the bloggers in an editorial capacity - which is getting more and more challenging since there's one of me and fifty or so of them!

John Cass

Kim, great post and thanks for the reference.

As a marketer I define marketing to include a lot of stuff beyond promoting a product. My passion for marketing comes from being a customer. I buy stuff and expect a company's promises to be kept and service to be good. The details a product’s quality, delivery and everything else is part of marketing. If you have bought a product, you are a marketing person at heart, as you understand how a company should treat you.

Kim, as you blog you are building strength for your company's services and products. You are developing the company’s brand to mean something. Brand after all is not just an image, but also the value that lies behind the image. If you provide value through blogging you are building brand and that's marketing. What amazes me is that blogging lets a company both build a brand and gain additional marketing promotional benefits in the process.

Your description of the old style of website and new blogging elements is correct. Blogging, that process of interaction with your audience on a website is here to stay. I foresee more companies adopting the techniques over time.

The comments to this entry are closed.