PART 2 IN A SERIES
. . . Has the blogging sensation passed corporations by?
Not by a long shot. Instead of public blogs, think about blog technology. That’s the focus for many leading companies around the world. From McDonald’s (MCD ) to Cannondale Bicycle, corporations are using the software to revamp internal communications, reach out to suppliers, and remake corporate Intranets. Often the site doesn’t look much different from what it’s replacing. Sometimes there’s nothing particularly bloggy about the results.
But these corporate initiatives are interactive and cheap to deploy — making them an attractive form of communication. “Blogs are a way to bring our knowledge together,” says Dave Weick, chief information officer at McDonald’s. –Stephen Baker, Business Week Online, The Inside Story on Company Blogs
Who Said Blogging Has to Be Public? We might not find many Fortune 500 blogs on the Internet. That doesn’t mean that Fortune 500 companies don’t have them. It means that we’re not invited to their private party. Corporations are taking advantage of blogging technology inside their firewalls.
Move Over Website, Bye-Bye Intranet
Blog technology is slowly overtaking the traditional website and Intranet structure at some corporations. Why is that?
- Blogs are low in cost to set up and less expensive to maintain.
- Blogs require less technical expertise.
- Blogs offer a sophisticated content management system that’s meant to be updated daily. They invite communication.
- Blogs are interactive. They allow relationships to form between people.
- Folks can blog from their desk, their home, the local coffeeshop, even their telephone.
Like employees from another era, websites and Intranets constantly need to be brought up to speed. Blogs have the right skillset for today’s knowledge-based enterprise–they’re innovative, fast, accessible, and made for constant changing . . . and they can be as beautiful as any website. What’s not to like? I’d hire one.
Communication in Every Direction
Ever heard the saying, We’re all 100% responsible for communication? Blog software is being used to make 100% communication happen in almost every direction.
- Blogs are carrying on conversations between management and employees that allow them to get to know each other as people.
- Blogs are providing safe storage and collection of team project information, so that the entire team can literally be “on the same page.”
- Blogs are connecting vendors with buyers, replacing fax machines, messy email inboxes. and lost correspondence.
- Blogs are establishing and maintaining unprecedented information flow between field reps and home office folks, drawing companies together.
- Blogs are ensuring everyone in a group has access to the same information at the same time in the same way from almost any point on the planet.
Choose your options. You can have any color as long as it’s blog technology.
Why Do We Need to Know This?
Rare is the person who doesn’t already do business with, work for, or buy from a company who is already using blogs in these ways. It’s reasonable to think that a Fortune 500 company that has made any step toward putting a public blog online has experimented with internal blogging. Think–McDonalds.
The Internet website and company Intranet are quickly becoming just so . . . old hat.
If we want to be invited to the party, we need to dress the part, know the culture, and speak the language. We need to be prepared as vendors, consultants, customers, and employees. We need to factor in this data when we think about where we fit. How does this change the way I interact with companies? How might this information affect my brand, my business, or my life in general?
For this black tie party, blogging technology is definitely the new black.
The world is getting smaller. I’m starting to think there really is only one party.
If I’ve got this wrong, please set me straight. I’ll listen. I’m the nice one.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Blogs ArenÃ¢â¬â¢t Mini-Websites. TheyÃ¢â¬â¢re Powerful Tools.
Business, Blogs, and Niche-Brand Marketing
Chicago Goes Wi-Fi . . . What Does that Mean to Business?
Marketing Strategy ala Mickey Mouse