I wrote about this topic six months ago – Blogging Strategy – and had an update on a few different efforts. So blogging about blogging… yes, get over it. 😉
So six months has passed… has anything changed? Do more organizations get it? Are more organizations trying it? Are more organizations engaging with their customers, supporters, employees, and competitors?
Unforuntately, I don't track the entire industry, I have things to do. But I do keep an eye on a few organizations and their trends… and occasionally happen upon other groups' efforts.
First, the obvious, there are numerous groups and individuals using it to build their brands, gain allies, and generally create a buzz around them and their services. In my own little corner of the world, the CaseySoftware blog has been online for over three years and I just passed my 500th post. Others – like Ann Bernard at WhyGoSolo – are newer to the space but have already built up a following in just a manner of months. WGS regularly generates more comments on a daily basis than CaseySoftware. Just one metric, but interesting.
Disclosure: I'm involved in WhyGoSolo.. I'm the CTO and I report to her, so I'm a bit biased.
Next, some organizations still don't get it. The Organization A referenced in the first post:
Organization A is a company fighting to gain market share in a number of different closely related markets. Some of those markets are fiercely competitive but have incredibly high barriers to entry while they're early entrants to other markets with almost no barrier to entry. They have a well-established name and client list but their brand lacks any kind of Focus. Instead of having a series of products, they've been more of a consultantcy but are actively working to change that. Their competitors are easily identified and are largely established and their customers (and customers' customers) are highly connected and often incredibly tech savvy.
still doesn't get it either. That organization's blog has been online for over two months and has a trio of posts. More interestingly, after a bit of digging, I was able to find out that every post written has to be approved by the legal/marketing team. So it becomes effectively impossible to share anything other than empty marketing messages. I'm in their target customer base and have considered doing business with them… but things like this tell me that any innovation or creativity will have to come from my side of the table.
Finally, some organizations are just following the trend without understanding anything about it… One Northern Virginia firm which focuses on "entrepreneurial organizations" and "innovative business" and has a blog. At first glance, I was impressed, it appears that they're getting creative. Then I looked at the blog and found exactly one post over six months old. The organization has little bureaucracy so it's not the same problem as above. This appears to be a simple lack of interest or knowledge on how to effectively use it.
So… what's my point?
If you're going to do it, do it well. Yes, you can set up a blog in about 15 minutes but it doesn't mean you should. If you don't have something to say or (worse!) lack the ability to say anything at all, don't do it. Your time is going to spent better elsewhere working within your existing structure instead of pounding your head against these walls. Don't do it to appease potential investors because – let me tell you – it's impossible to appease them…
If your blog isn't being updated regularly – at minimum once/week – or hasn't been updated in 6+ months, either take it down or call it something different. It's not a blog… it's a dead spot on the web.