Step Back and Evaluate
At this point you have been strictly an observer. Did you find useful information? Did the posts you wrote in your private blog have decent thoughts that you might not otherwise have followed up on? Did you manage to find potential customers and users that you could follow up with on issues at a later date?
This "step-back-and-evaluate" phase is the key. You can't properly evaluate blogging for your company without first evaluating blogging as a tool, as a medium, and as a message. Much like you would never, in good conscience, make a judgment call on a country without first visiting, so it is in the Land of Blog.
Having evaluated blogging in a basic way, it is time to realize the strength of the tool. Blogging can be used in a variety of ways. One blogger categorized more than 30 ways that blogs could be used by companies. I won't go quite that deep (or that boring) in this article.
As with all tools, the key to blogging is to determine what your company's needs, strengths, and values are. Strictly speaking, there are two types of blogs: internal and external. Internal blogs are for consumption primarily by your staff, although some companies open up these resources to partners and analysts.
Internal blogs will most commonly take two shapes: corporate communications or collaboration tools.
Corporate communications are fairly straightforward: The blog will contain important company and industry news, important memoranda, and often statements from executives and company leadership.
Collaboration blogs are designed to allow team members to work through communications issues in an open and searchable way. Someone once said that email is where information goes to die. Blogs don't allow information to die, so that information becomes not a detriment but a value to your team and company.
But determining which types of blogs you could use, and helping your users actually adopt them are two different things. The hardest part of any new technology—no matter how exciting—is getting users to actually use it.