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The Blog Council: a How NOT to Corporate Blog Guide

blog council logoRead/Write Web reports that AccuQuote, Cisco Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Gemstar-TV Guide, General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP, and Wells Fargo have come together to form the Blog Council (dot org), an organization to help corporations learn to blog.

The purpose behind the organization:

The Blog Council’s mission is to help corporate blogging efforts become more successful.

Up to now, there hasn’t been a community solely dedicated to serving the needs of corporate blogging. The Blog Council is here to help create:

1. Best Practices: Promoting corporate blogging excellence through best practices, standards, and training.
2. Community: Providing networking and partnering opportunities for leaders of the corporate blogging movement.
3. ROI: Developing metrics programs that help deliver measurable ROI from blog activities.
4. Advocacy: Blog Council has a united voice to provide the corporate perspective in the blogosphere.

Yeah, that’s not going so well so far. As RWW points out, their first two posts are an FAQ and a press release announcing their launch.

But hey, at least they’re getting attention, right? And these people are well qualified, right? Running wildly popular corporate blogs, right?

Well, depends on what you call successful. AccuQuote, for example has hundreds of blog posts, but three comments on their last fifteen entries. Oh, and it’s on an entirely different domain than their site. Cisco has more than a dozen blogs on the blogs.cisco.com subdomain; one announcement on their official blog has 75 comments (but among the last twenty or so, only two others had comments; two each).

I’m sure Coke got a lot of visits to their Zero Movement blog when Adrants ousted it as a flog almost two years ago (and that’s still the #1 result for [coke blog]). And before that, their internal marketing blog was leaked. I’m sure you could learn a lot from people who have tried to make every blogging mistake there is.

Those are just the first three participating companies alphabetically. Need I go on?

Oh, and before you ask: comments are disabled on the Blog Council blog.

Until they step it up, you can look at our resources on corporate blogging and corporate blogs.

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  • http://www.mgsblog.net MG

    Helpful article, tnx!

  • http://www.conversationalmediamarketing.com Paul Chaney

    Yes, I think you should go on. Microsoft is a member, as is Dell, and those two companies certainly have a better track record.

    It should not go un-noted that Microsoft was the company that gave rise to Robert Scoble, Channel 9, and over 5,000 employee bloggers, all the while touting their blog policy was simply, “Blog smart.”

    While Dell had to learn the lesson the hard way, I’d suggest they’ve made a pretty good showing of how to engage customers in conversation with their Direct2Dell blog and IdeaStorm community.

    Maybe these two companies are there to mentor the others who aren’t faring so well.

    While I have no feeling for or against the Blog Council, I think the jury is still out on its efficacy.

    It is my hope what’s learned behind closed doors will be shared with the business blogosphere at large. That is certainly a blogging “best practice” if ever there was one.

  • http://www.gowfb.com Furniture Store

    A lot of people in the blogging community are extremely indignant about this Blog council which they fear will be a regulatory body who will set itself up to police the blogosphere in a way.

    The take of a lot of bloggers is “who asked you” and “who are you anyway?”

    And as you say “comments are disabled on the Blog Council blog.”, doesnt sound as though they want anyone else’s opinions does it?

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    I think the corporate world still sees blogs as a direct sales tool or an extension of a press release. They haven’t caught on to the idea of blogging as a conversation or a way to become more transparent to their customers.

    I’m not sure if a council made up of corporations is the best way for them to understand the conversational nature of blogging, but time will tell.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Zen

    Shouldn’t the people elect the members of any council? To auto proclaim oneself a “Blog Council” seems kind of arrogant, at least in my perspective.

  • http://www.conversationalmediamarketing.com Paul Chaney

    They might wish to set themselves up as a regulatory body, though ostensibly, only where large corporate entities are concerned.

    Of course, the notion that any one group could “regulate” bloggers is laughable, tantamount to herding millions of cats.

    If they come up with some “best practices” that can be emulated (I’ll never say ‘should’), that would be good. Otherwise, I don’t see that their reach would be as overarching as to presuppose they could morph into a regulatory body.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Oh, I definitely don’t think they want to be a regulatory body. They do say that their goal is to establish best practices for corporate blogging. And whenever they get around to posting their third post, I’m sure we’ll learn more about that goal.

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  • http://www.mikemoran.com Mike Moran

    I spoke with Andy Sernovitz yesterday of the Blog Council and the disabling of comments was apparently a mistake. They were trying to use blogging software as a simple content management system and they’ve now updated the site so it looks like a flat Web site, not a blog. I updated my post about the Blog Council from Monday (http://www.mikemoran.com/biznology/archives/2007/12/oneway_blogging.html) to reflect this.

  • http://www.conversationalmediamarketing.com Paul Chaney

    Yes, but Mike, isn’t that a bit disingenuous? A “blog” council with no blog? I suspect I judge both too quickly and harshly. *Note to self: Give them time Paul. Give them time.*

    Also, I spoke to one of the members yesterday who indicated they have no desire to become a regulatory body for the blogosphere, as some have asserted. They all have day jobs, he said.

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  • http://www.mikemoran.com Mike Moran

    I guess we can each choose whether to believe their story or not, Paul. I usually try to take people at their word, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. If I am wrong about them, I am sure they’ll give us more evidence to help us decide one way or the other. So, I am keeping my mind open (some would say it’s cavernous in its emptiness).

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  • http://www.conversationsmatter.org Kelly Feller

    Perhaps you’re missing what the blog council is trying to do. I’m not personally a member, but I do work for a large corporation managing blogs and social media efforts. There are unique problems corporations face when trying to implement conversational marketing programs including blogging. Shouldn’t people who face these unique challenges be permitted to develop their own community of peers to help address these issues?

    I don’t know all the policies of the Council; as I mentioned, I’m not a member. But I can tell you I often return home black and blue from the beating I get both internally, for trying to get my corp peers to do social media the “right” way, and externally from a outspoken community of purists who think there is no place for corporate presence within social media.

    Kelly Feller’s last blog post..Video: Jeremiah Owyang presenting Forrester’s POST Method at Cluetrain conference

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