After our post the other day about blogging with Office 2007 and Movable Type Enterprise, we got some great conversations started about what it takes to help businesses start blogs in general.
One of the most exciting was Isabel Wang’s column at Web Host Industry Review, entitled “Six Apart: We Won’t Be Happy Until Every Company Can Have a Blog” It’s true! And Isabel’s one of the smartest thinkers in the web hosting business, so she offers some really useful insights for web hosts. Smart thinking always begets intelligent conversation, as evidenced by the first comment, in which John McKown outlines the challenge nicely:
- Most people that aren’t techies don’t see the value in blogging yet. They see it is as a fad and a bit of a waste of their time.
- Many businesses still see blogs as a potential liability.
- Many laypeople that I meet think that a blog is too large of a commitment for their time to keep a blog up.
- Many people hear FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) spread by the mass media about blogs, and they assume that bloggers are people with too much time on their hands.
And those are exactly the same concerns and fears that we hear while explaining blogs to companies. Combine that with some current bloggers’ unwillingness to embrace new kinds of blogging (“Blogging from Office? That’s lame!”) and we’ve all got our work cut out for us.
I talk a little bit about that work over on the E-consultancy site. In the interview, I was asked a bit about ” Why should a small business consider devoting precious resources to a blog, rather than other web marketing tools…?” and was pretty pleased with how the answer turned out:
The best reason for a small business to create and maintain a blog is because it’s the most cost-effective method of maintaining a relationship with important audiences like customers, potential customers, partners, or employees. A blog doesn’t need to be run in place of other tools - it can easily complement them. For example, many companies post the content from their email newsletters on their blogs, making the most of the content while also allowing for a level of interactivity and discoverability that email alone doesn’t provide.
We’re excited that such a great conversation has started around what it’s going to take to get every business blogging. What we’re clear about so far is that we need to tell more stories of success, and spend less time hyping scare stories or worrying about whether people are blogging the “right” way. Let’s get ‘em all started, and then help improve those business blogs once they’re up and running.