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Blogging: Can It Be Useful for Your Business?

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Blogging is here to stay, but did you know that blogging can be an important business tool? You can communicate with your customers and have them communicate with you in a real and meaningful way. You can build your awareness, influence the way people think about your company, and build better products by virtue of real two-way communication. And, yes, you can find out what your millions of potential customers are saying and then respond to them in an open and engaging way. Blogging expert Jeremy Wright shows you why you ignore this important tool at your peril.
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It has been said that blogging is nothing new, that it's nothing special because it's just recycled technology, and that it's really more hassle than it's worth. It has even been said that blogging is really the worst form of self-interest available to modern man. In that light, it's difficult to see why blogging is still around.

But blogging is here today. There are more than 25 million blogs on the Internet. There are between 5 and 10 million active bloggers. And there are more than 5,000 companies that use blogs, either internally or externally, as collaboration, PR, and knowledge management tools.

But Is it Real?

That said, I'd hate for this article to be all hype and no juice. I spent the last few days at the New Communications Forum in Napa Valley, California talking with some of the top PR minds in the country about the issues and possibilities of blogging.

One individual from a prominent New York firm, who wishes to remain anonymous until she decides how best to apply blogs for her clients, summed it up best when she asked, "All of this is great, but what does it mean for my business and my clients?"

Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collins, two prominent bloggers from Rochester, NY, agree that the real crux of the matter is this: Should you use blogging in your business? And if you should, how should you use it?

Any technology—which is all blogging really is—can be used in a large variety of ways. And as those various ways are explored there are bound to be challenges. Some will be technological, such as how to implement an internal blog so that users don't need to learn a new technology at all. Others will be strategic, such as figuring out whether an external blog will be written by your CEO or by your technical teams.

For some companies, though, the discussion won't even get that far. They'll worry that any new technology isn't worth implementing simply because everyone else is doing it. They'll compare it to the early days of the Web, saying that the companies that first launched websites weren't necessarily the ones that benefited most from the Internet at all.

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