As the blogosphere continues to grow and evolve, hundreds of large-scale corporations are jumping on board to define and make use of the opportunities in online collaboration. Although individual blogs are always easy to get up and running, complete blogging site formats such as SocialText are offering some simple and highly-developed systems. Corporate public blogs can provide valuable insights and exchanges for internal employees, and reduces the time spent e-mailing and networking through other forms. By keeping an updated and onging collaborative mechanism in-house, a corporation can make leaps and bounds for decision-making, brainstorming, and overall input from their key contributors; their own employees and company representatives.
Corporate-related blogs in the online social sphere popped up over the past few years when employees maintained their own individual, sometimes private blogs of work interactions. We’ve all been privy to the slew of weblogs that were assumed to have been anonymous, only to find out later that the employee was fired for maintaining it. As with most online publishing networks, there are boundaries and rules; false or misleading representations of your company in any way in the social networking domain can have severe consequences!
For those who do play by the rules, constructive opportunities abound. A corporation’s official public blog allows consumers and even end-users to ‘take part’ in the company’s industry news, current trends, and learn about upcoming events easily. There’s no easier way to learn about a particular company or corporation than visiting their blog and picking up the latest news. Relying on firsthand industry news from representatives of a company is far more effective and relevant than digging for random information. The ‘live’ content factor makes it a valuable resource, and this participation model is branching out in new ways across the web today. SocialText launched the business blog concept in late 2005, and has led the way in this emerging and growing trend.
SocialText provides an effective and highly useful medium for widescale collaboration. Top companies today that are maintaining these blogs include eBay, General Mills, Google, Amazon.com, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Microsoft Corporation. Collective wisdom is the philosophy behind this blogging style, and a recent Wiki project spearheaded by Wired Magazine hoped to track the effectiveness of this style of collaboration. The Wired Wiki project was an experiment to gauge the context and results of opening up an ‘encyclopaedia’ to the public on a particular topic. Contributions and edits were logged and charted, and according to Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText, this deemed a success. More information can be found on the Wiki Wired blog maintained by the site here: http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/wiki_wired.html
Connecting with the consumer and end user is new and valuable ways is a primary goal of hundreds of today’s innovative and progressive companies. Businesses cannot ignore the progress of the Internet, as it opens up fantastic opportunities for development and customer satisfaction overall. Corporate blogging on even a small scale opens up the channels in marketing and brand awareness, taking on new parameters as people become directly involved. As customers and web visitors become familiar and comfortable with a company or corporation’s industry news and feedback, they can simultaneously engage in and contribute their opinions in a ‘live’ format.
Corporations that allow internal wiki-style formats and blogs can also increase their collaboration efforts effectively. These companies will fare well in organizational control, brainstorming, and in obtaining real feedback. The pressure of a face-to-face meeting is literally absolved, and may tap into creative potential and insights that were otherwise left behind or under-represented.