Here are a couple perspectives on the future of blogging or social media in general. According to Mashable Mind Map: What is the Future of Blogging?, by Steve Rubel, the future of blogging will either grow into something else, possibly something bigger or interconnected or succumb to what he calls Darwinism, where blogging will enter into the extinction of the medium itself. Rubel believes that blogging could become a primary social hub that can aggregate content and information or it could become a social network of its own.

On a more analytical note, in The Future of the Social Web: In Five Eras by Jeremiah Owyang, he describes how the consumer will strengthen communities and this will allow for communities to be empowered in a sense that they will contain the power that the brands itself once embodied. Owyang notes the past, present, and future of social web in eras that depict how the next five years is predicted phase out.

The Five Eras of the Social Web:

1) Era of Social Relationships: People connect to others and share

2) Era of Social Functionality: Social networks become like operating system

3) Era of Social Colonization: Every experience can now be social

4) Era of Social Context: Personalized and accurate content

5) Era of Social Commerce: Communities define future products and services

All together, these overlap and that the idea is that the future of social media will look like this and has already begun to evolve. Thus there is an urgent need for companies to embody the trend and jump in on the conversation. They overlap in a sense that we have already embraced some aspects of each era. For example, we’re already in the era of relationships and we see hints of colonization taking place with Facebook according to Owyang.

The Evolution of the Social Web: From CRM.COM, Posted by Jessica Tsai

After doing research for this topic, I find corporate blogging to be something truly great for the future. With the generation of tech savvy individuals entering the workforce, I do not doubt that communication through web 2.0 will be a problem.

How do you think our future of social media looks?

My Goal for this Blog, Executed in a Nut Shell:

  • Companies that exist in social Media Purgatory need to Listen to what is going on in the blogosphere.
  • Take a look at who’s blogging successfully to be convinced.
  • A blog can really help fix bad press.
  • Newspapers have constructed the best reporting tone yet seem casual.
  • Charities have a unique understanding of transparency and uses blogging to its highest form.
  • There is pitching etiquette to bloggers (they are aware of their power in social media)
  • Blogging in different countries can be a mess. However it is better than not doing one at all because we are now aware of the circumstances. How far can regulation go?
  • Finally, the future of blogging and it’s 5 year plan.  = Transparency!

Here is a look at what I’ve touched based on. My goal was to talk about how corporate blogging is being used and its effectiveness, while highlighting blogs that hold some of the same kind of values. Sometimes it is just easier to grasp simpler notions such as how blogs are being used in the newspaper industry to understand how a company can utilize the same kind of values other companies embody effectively. It does not mean that it is the same, but corporations are hesitant to create blogs and are forgetting the important aspects that come with it if constructed.

My last posts:

1) What: Social Media Purgatory
2) What Businesses Have to do to Listen…
3) Who is Corporate Blogging?
4) Who is Protecting Who from What?
5) Where do Blogs fit into the World?
6) Where Charities Create a Voice to Meet their Mission
7) How do Bloggers like to be Pitched?
8) How Blogging Works in Different Countries: Threatening, Connecting Conspiracy?

According to, Corporate Blog Design: Trends and Examples by Steven Snell, he examines issues corporate blogs encounter while noting some trends that are useful.

In Summary here are Snell’s highlights aggregated to understand the gist:

  1. Purpose of Corporate Blogs is:
    1. Communication with customers and publics
    2. Demonstration of corporate responsibility
    3. Reputation Management
    4. Promotion of Products and Services
    5. Provide Execs to Openly Communicate

Among the five just noted, I wanted to point out ‘Demonstration of corporate responsibility.’ Snell writes that in some cases a company will use a site to represent how the corporation is giving back to the community and not just a focus on products, which is appealing to building value and trust.

  1. Trends: Corporate blogs can be either:
    1. Simple Layout with Lack of Visual Appeal: nothing too fancy
    2. Going against the trend: Nike effectively standing out with a visually appealing and engaging blog
    3. Branding: promoting the products by branding the product to the website utilizing the companies main colors and so on.
    4. Multiple bloggers: a team of bloggers
    5. Network of blogs: Allotting a blog to each writer to blog on specific content
    6. Few Comments: Snell says that companies that use a blog not to draw attention to their product tend to receive more comments than companies that post on products and updates
    7. Only internal ads allowed- External ads will divert reader’s attention away from the corporate site and have the money-making, pay-per-click mindset
    8. Links back to company’s homepage
    9. Companies most of the time use separate domains

This was a great way to look at what to do for corporate blogging as well as prime examples of companies that utilize every bulleted point Snell points out. He also points out some very effective corporate blogs such as American Express, General Motors, Nike, Toyota, Boeing, and so on for examples. I note this post specifically because it was pretty useful advice that I have found throughout my gathering of research for this project specifically. Bloggers put a different spin on typical subjects such as this post, but it takes a lot to stand out and I think Snell’s post did that well.

Check out, How and Why You Should Build a Corporate Blog by Lionel Menchaca on Dell’s reasons and statistics on why corporate blogging is effective:

Although blogging in America is starting to change the face of social media by allowing more transparency to take place, It is interesting to understand how blogging works in countries where “freedom of speech” is not in their norm. This post illustrates how powerful communication is the way bloggers cling onto the need to stay connected where their inner voice has stayed dormant for years by government law. According to, Blogging in Asia by Leozelle Gatoc from Suite101.com, an MSN study was done in countries in Asia to depict how blogs became a medium for social connection and self-expression:

Burma

In 2007, Burma had international journalists and monks that entered where citizens ended up leaking military information on the Internet. They government wanted to find the ones sending out antigovernment information. For that, the Burmese government went as far as demanding that the internet connection be slowed down to dial-up speed while also closing internet cafes just so it would hinder journalists and bloggers from sending information properly.

Tibet

Tibet is so small that their most influential writer and blogger named Woeser was detained for allegedly taking pictures of military installations. Tibet has always been a place of problems and “persecutions.” Just think how one blogger had an influential effect and dealt with repercussions.

Malaysia

The Internal Security Act in Malaysia put Raja Petra Kamaruddin, journalist and blogger of Malaysia Today, detained without trial after being charged of sedition on an article that linked to the Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to Altantuya Shaaribuu, a Mongolian woman murdered.

Some Interesting Facts:

  • According to a study done by the University of Washington annual report, 64 bloggers were arrested for criticizing the government in Asia.
  • In Egypt, China and Iran it was found that most of the arrests took place in those countries.
  • Around 344 people arrested in Burma were thought to be bloggers.

Obviously, the government possesses a power of demand that shouldn’t be manipulated with. This all depicts how influential communication is while the need to communicate is at high risk. According to China blocks Twitter, Flickr and Hotmail ahead of Tiananmen anniversary, by Tania Branigan of The Guardian newspaper, access to Flickr, twitter, and Hotmail had been denied two days before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Protest. In prior months before this event and after, even blogger.com and YouTube (being the latter) have been cut off in fears of people gathering online to discuss sensitive topics online that can lead to protests.

Blogger, Michael Anti discussed his uneasiness about the situation saying that twitter is a crucial icon for the new Internet era where innovations emerge and that it is not good for China to deny the people the ability to move forward with social media.

This video opens my topic. Jeremy Woolf From Text 100, describes the survey that was taken on bloggers to challenge preconceived notions of bloggers in general and how companies should really work with this field of influence.

I was inspired from my Communications Tools and Technology class about newsrooms and the mutually dependent relationships public relations people and journalists foster together. We covered how journalists like to be pitched to effectively communicate and be communicated. So I wanted to address the question of how bloggers like to be pitched and the misconceptions pr people are under looking.

According to Text 100, Don’t Spam Us With News Releases Say Global Bloggers, the world’s only global PR consultancy, they have surveyed 449 bloggers from 21 different countries to illustrate the influence of the blogosphere. Text 100 took findings from preferences of bloggers in the technology, business, and lifestyle fields to demonstrate how PR professionals are trying to grasp onto the domain of blogging but are forgetting one important aspect: Press releases do not appeal to bloggers. They are not journalists. Here are some highlights/summary from Text 100:

The Best Way to Contact:

  • More than 90% of the 449 bloggers welcomes PR people.
  • Around half of all bloggers in APAC and Europe indicate their preferred form of contact on their blogs, 88% of bloggers in APAC preferred an introduction before receiving information from PR people and corporations.
  • Many wanted face-face communications. (That is so great!)

Extra Sources to Supply:

  • Photographs, charts and then video streaming are frequently wanted in order of listed.

Habits: It’s best to note this because in order to reach out to different audiences such as in Asia and Europe communicators must adapt.

  • Bloggers in America, 63% noted that they spend more than 6 hours of blogging a week.

Misconceptions PR People Make and Continually Make:

  • PR people send bloggers press releases unnoticed which is just plain rude don’t you think? Especially, expecting corporate material to be published.
  • PR professionals are not reading the blogs of the bloggers they are trying to reach which illustrate their lack of understanding of how things work in social media.

These notions are not so different from Journalists. According to David Viggiano of WFLD Fox, Chicago, he likes to be emailed and then followed up with a call. No journalist likes a press package without notice and expect to do a story. The question PR people need to consider: How does your pitch benefit my (the blogger or journalist) audience?

On the Contrary:

According to Jeremy Porter’s blog, Journalistics, his post titled, Social or Not are Press Releases Worth Your Time?, he mentions a research HubSpot did that compared the links benefits to search engine optimization. It states that traditional press release news wires generate more links by 14% in their study than social media releases.

Also in a post titled, Social Media Press Release Blown Away in Hail of Bullets by Greg Jarboe, he writes about his findings on searching press releases using Google and Yahoo. He found that the social media press releases are not being crawled upon by Google, after he submitted an optimized version of a press release (SMPR) to a client. However, it blew up on Yahoo’s search engine. Jarboe then created a narrative traditional format of a press release and found that it later got picked up by Google and Yahoo. He concludes with the notion that using optimized formats with bullets will kill a press release. Google ranks the Associated Press #1 in news for September and they do not use bullets.

So yes, social media press releases are beginning to pick up the pace with tactics for public relations and communicators but it hasn’t fully evolved to fitting the window frame of engine optimization which is the mother ship for gaining recognition.


Here is part two of Jeremy Woolfe’s summary on the blogging survey. To end, he makes a great point:

  • PR news releases are out and social media releases are in. Bloggers do not like corporate press releases. Social media releases allow for a deconstructed piece of information used for content along with elements that can be shared.

In my last post, Where Do Bloggers Fit Into the Newspaper World?,” I wrote about how newspapers have adopted blogs successfully. In today’s post I want to illustrate the voices that echoes throughout charity blogs to help enhance a charity’s mission. I note charities in particular because the ones that have utilized social media’s special features well have done something incredible: create a voice and stick to the mission. The beauty of it is that most charities do not have money for advertising purposes so they are initially forced to adopt methods that are cheaper in budget. Also, charities embody a natural warm tone to their cause contradictory to the way profiting corporations can sound. Again, we are veering away from web 1.0 tactics where it cost a full budget to make and produce big colorful poster only to be bypassed by people stuck in a recession.

Red Cross

The Red Cross is one of our oldest most notable charities that have its roots in helping and aiding natural disasters and war. However, the Red Cross ran into some reputation trouble during the Hurricane Katrina Crisis. According to SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate by Joel Postman, the organization itself was the largest recipient in donations at the time of the hurricane disaster. Their response to the solution of aiding the project drew criticism from people all over the nation on issues ranging from unorganized distribution of supply relief and unprepared workers, which included felons. In order to regain their reputation, the Red Cross fostered mandatory blog postings that reside in each department to immediately update disaster relief. They even tweet headlines, which obviously is distributed faster. Without a good reputation, the organization does not receive money for funding from the public.

Red Cross

Red Cross

charity-ribbons

March of Dimes

According to the March of Dimes (MOD) website, the blog for the March of Dimes features different sections on what goes on with the charity from: A word from our sponsors, Angela’s blog (resident blogger), family teams, online fundraising, team youth, and volunteers. This adds insight to the entire community for full transparency with a dedication to the mission in full honesty. They deeply want to know your story. There is even a forum called, Share Your Story that allows members to share their pains and happiness. The stories help fuel the organization’s reputation. I write about this charity because I’m working with the Shenandoah Valley Chapter on an Advertising campaign. Surprisingly, in an interview with Mary Knapp, their division director, in comparison to other nation wide non-profit organizations , MOD is listed as a plus and above the Susan G Komen organization in unaided awareness. I have never heard of this organization prior to working with Mary.

Celebrities in Charity

Charities are able to use the face of stars once in a while, ones that dedicate their time and effort to raising awareness.  In fact, March of Dimes above mentions celebrities that have shed some light on the charity. Well, according to an article titled, Jet Li Blogs on Charity by Tim Saunders on Look to the Stars, a website on charity news and information that take place exclusively with stars, Jet Li blogs to set awareness for his organization the One Foundation that dedicates time and mental power to helping out international disasters just like the Sichuan’s earthquake. Li mentions that commercial organizations and citizens that help the cause allows for philanthropy grants to further the success of the organization, which “promotes professionalism and transparency.”

Conclusion

What corporate blogs can take away from just keeping in mind how charities run with social media, is the culture it builds with its workers and publics. There is a voice that stands out, and even charities like the Red Cross have messed up in the past but have worked on utilizing transparency efforts to improve.

Stimulation for the Eyes: A reunion between old traditional art and new media. Somehow it works, but in the long run it isn’t feasible.

Here is what fancied my attention to write about news blogging and although it lacks the writing content, the pictures tell a story and got me captivated:

This blog is from bostonglobe.com titled, “The Big Picture,” by Alan Taylor.  The post titled, “The Berlin Reunion,” talks and displays images from the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company using gigantic puppetry to tell their story of reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

——

Although today’s post is not specifically on corporate blogging, I’d like to illustrate the effect blogs have on a medium of media they “say” is to go extinct one day: newspapers (I don’t believe that). Newspapers use blogs as another extension of the paper, as if it were an extra column it seems. After reading some blogs from online papers, I find that it is still newsworthy in a personalized way and that the pictures and videos add a lure to the reality of the news. Also there is a release from media writing structure that is looser on a blog. According to 50 Most Popular Newspaper Blogs by Simon Owens in his blog, Bloggasm, he determined the success of each newspaper’s blog and ranked them according to Technorati’s rankings on a scale of popular to least popular. He mentions that The New York Times has 60 blogs while most of the top ten visited newspapers have at least 20 blogs to handle. This shows that there is an external working of journalists working to tell a story and create a tone for their paper.

What does this mean?

Why would a newspaper need a blog to begin with, you might ask? Newspapers have somewhat joined the social media trend by using blogs as an outlet to drive traffic to the paper’s website and even popularity to the print version. Also, newspapers are known to start tweeting headlines catering to those that headline scan. They are utilizing tactics to its advantage but the question still remains will newspapers go extinct?

According to MediaMemo by Peter Kafka, his blog post titled, Hearst Shuts Down Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Replaces it with Website, represents a microcosm of what could happen to the newspaper world. In short, Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer’s paper shut down to move online. What went from 150 staff members moved to 20 after 146 years of serving the people by print. The idea is to see if the online version could profit. However, Kafka doesn’t believe it will profit and nor do I, even based on what we’ve learned about social media. People still need to hold, smell, and touch paper news. And if you go to London, it is pretty much newspaper readers on crack.

Conclusion:

I mention newspaper blogs to illustrate how even struggling papers use social media tools as an outlet even though journalism is already an established media outlet. Their paper is their product. Their publics are their readers. They’ve become smart and tactical by jumping on the bandwagon. Blogs add a more personal touch to the news with multimedia centric values. All in all, the newspaper industry use of blogs is very similar to the way corporate blogging can work. Empower employees to write and create a tone for the company internally/externally.

I want to end on this note. A lot of experts might say that too many pictures in a blog is not recommended. However I sometimes disagree with that notion. It depends on how the pictures are being used. Even if it is a very technical corporate blog people sometimes need a different kind of stimulation to add rhythm to what they’re reading.

It is interesting to note how blogs can be used as a device to maintain outreach and connection with businesses to consumers and consumers to businesses. There was a point in time when it was really hard to get in touch with the company for anything from a simple question to a complaint. Actually, it is still really hard to get in contact with a representative to fulfill needs as simple as a request (Imagine the look on someone’s face when you give them the customer service number to complain instead of just dealing with the situation). That simple need is part of that reputation boost that companies need when deciding to engage in social media. Another aspect to note is that if a company has fault in their actions, communication within the company has to be open to fix the problem.  A lot of corporations are using blogs to provide a platform for transparency. That also means that sometimes a company fails at getting the right message out but uses communication tools and technology to address the problem and how they can fix it.

The video above provides a simple example on how effective a corporate blog can be in recapturing the image of a company and how fast a message will spread when attended to. Ed Terpening is the VP of Social Media for Wells Fargo, and he mentions that blogs are a way to provide their part of the story especially when things go wrong. Wells Fargo felt that some of their information was misleading in their AP report so they quickly posted a response on their blog. In other words, humanizing social media.

When Situations Get Rough:

A company must also be aware of complacent matters that can really affect the company with too much given information. According to Corporate Blogs and ‘Tweets’ Must Keep SEC in Mind by Cari Tuna, there lingers the question about whether blogs and tweet information run up against SEC regulations. If it does, bloggers could potentially skew the tone of voice on blogs and tweets, which interferes with transparent attitudes that consumers look for. The example of Richard Brewer Hay tweeting updates on Silicon Valley Technology’s conference poses a fear and problem because he was advised to use disclaimers to “tune” down his informative voice. Even companies like Intel Corp. are opting out of use of blogs and tweets to avoid that problem.

In the end, Tuna’s article stresses the point that companies should implement a social media policy that allows them to act within those boundaries of conduct. Going back to the video above, Terpening mentions how Wells Fargo have what they call “community guidelines” to moderate comments to keep the message in check. It’s also another way to avoid spam.

Terpening also mentions that there is information for consumers to attend to customer service matters because personal information shouldn’t be posted on a public blog. It goes to show that not all information should be posted about a company but it shouldn’t be scripted to sound like a press release. SEC Regulations are in standing for the benefits of protection.

The Media Blogs Association:

This is how you know social media is dedicated to providing the real deal. When organizations are erected to be a safety outlet for trouble to keep a check and balance. In short, the Media Blogs Association provides legal assistance to the community of bloggers that deal with legal matters. Their mission as a non-profit group is to protect citizen journalism by promoting, protecting and educating members. In Summary, there are always going to be guidelines with addressing information. It’s just a matter of how a company goes about addressing issues without sounding robotic.

Who is Corporate Blogging?

October 1, 2009

What Does Your CEO Look Like?

Your CEO?

In big corporations, sometimes you never get to see the CEO maybe but a few times a year. A lot of CEOs are adopting a blog to provide more communication between all hierarchies of jobs within the business. It’s difficult because CEO’s do not have the time on their hands, to work consistently on a blog. With the recession and businesses hitting hard, CEOs are the ones carrying the burden. The need for transparency even within a company is surfacing. But not every CEO is cut out for a blog. In all reality a blog is virtually personal with a business edge. A CEO simply would be wasting his or her time making a blog if they didn’t want to or thought it was necessary because their competitors have one. However, the ones that are adopting it are allowing a source of connection for employees and its publics to absorb into a new wave conversation.

According to Joel Postman’s, Social Corp: Social Media Goes Corporate, to have a CEO blogging is well respected in the blogosphere mainly because their willingness to address their public. Postman also elaborates on the idea that anyone in the company can be a blogger on behalf of the company but the most successful ones make up a roundtable of different fields of expertise: marketing, customer service, technical, a visionary. The rule of thumb that most social media websites claim as important in updating blogs consistently can be eliminated with CEO’s keeping a blog. Most CEO’s will post a blog here and there due to time constraint but it is almost the most valuable piece of writing people look for. In CEO Blog Watch, a post written titled, Is a CEO Blog Right for Your Company?, notes that blogging has easy publishing benefits including the ability to allow other executives and managers to add to the blog topic. However, ghostwriting is highly not recommend  especially with the deteriorating amount of trust for businesses as it is.

In David Henderson’s blog titled CEO Blogs: Pros and Con, he alludes to the notion that a CEO blog is  humanized to reflect  the tone of his/her personality. The whole idea is for the CEO to listen.,  become a part of the conversation and then respond in a professional comfort manner.

Henderson show’s that Tony Hsieh of Zappos has a great blog to  read as a foundation. Hsieh really shows his personality in the blog listing  things from what he learns, what inspires him, what he wishes to work on with the company, etc. Going back to my first blog post, Social Media Purgatory, I mentioned how Wholefoods was a great example of a blog utilizing great social media tools for trust. I mention it again because there is also a CEO Blog section that is timely, informative, has a unique voice and organic quality to it.