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Corporate Blogging Hits the Skids

Do you still blog on behalf of your company? If you do, you’re part of a dying breed. According to a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth report, corporate blogging is on the decline.

Of the companies they surveyed, only 37% were blogging in 2011. That’s down from 50% in 2010. If you look only at Fortune 500 companies, the percentage drops to 23%.

Why are corporate blogs falling out of favor? USA Today says, mostly because Facebook and Twitter are so much easier to manage.

Keeping up a blog is a lot harder than people think. I’ve dealt with dozens of clients who jump in with grand plans of updating every day! They soon learn that updating even once a week is a chore. It’s amazing how quickly seven days pass when you need to come up with a fresh blog post.

Blogging Continues to Grow

It used to be that blogging was sexy. It was what the cool kids did.

On many levels it still is but the content landscape has changed decidedly as social media continues to cement itself into our online world.

The nice thing about blogging is that it is not only surviving this period of change but it is even thriving. The chart below comes from Nielsen’s NM Incite service and shows the growth of blogging during the age of social media.

The need for a place for more developed thoughts and examinations of subjects has actually never been greater. As people realize exactly where social media falls in the process of content ingestion there needs to be a place where the 140 character idea is worked out in more detail. People who are smart seek more information and will not settle for undeveloped thoughts that are abbreviated to fit social media’s format.

The Gap Joins with Fashion Blogs for Truly Sharable Ads

The Gap knows that it’s not about the individual pieces in your wardrobe, it’s how you put them together that counts. Jeans and a t-shirt can be punk, preppy or Paris depending on how you mix and match the colors, prints and accessories.

This is the concept behind their new campaign which takes the simple catalog shoot and turns it into a highly shareable experience.

The Gap collaborated with six fashion and lifestyle blogs including WhoWhatWear, FabSugar, and MOG. Each blog took key items from The Gap’s new “Be Bright” line, then styled the clothes in a way that suited their readers.

From Tomboy Glam at Rue to Rockin Leather on Mog, each photo has two important elements, links to The Gap catalog and an easy share box.

Tumblr Hires Editorial Staff to Cover Itself

Tumblr is categorized as a social blogging site. That’s a nice title until you realize that there are 42 million Tumblr sites that are generating content (I hope they are not counting my account that I have done nothing with). One would hope that there is something of worth is going on in a community that big.

Combine this with the fact that Tumblr is a free service that needs to turn all of those accounts into revenue and your thoughts probably go to advertising. But how and where? Well Tumblr thinks it may have a solution. Of course, in the name of journalistic integrity the “a” word is not mentioned but we are smart enough to read between the lines.

The New York Times reports

Bloggers Get Upset Over Book Review Requirements

One of the perks of being a blogger is you often get free items in return for a review. DVDs, food, gadgets, new tech — a good review is an excellent marketing tool, so most companies see these freebies as part of the cost of doing business.

Book publisher, William Morrow, however, is looking to reduce that cost and they want to see a bigger return on their investment.

Earlier this week, the LA Times published the text of a letter that was sent out to book bloggers. It outlines a new system where, instead of getting random books in the mail, bloggers will be asked to choose their review titles from a list.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s more work on the publisher’s part, but it’s targeted so it should make for more and better reviews.

Not Your Same Old Blogger: New Designs to Take On Increasing Competition

The Blogger platform for blogs is still one of the most widely used platforms on the web but it certainly is not one that gets a lot of press for innovation.

Google is trying to change that by offering new Dynamic Views which make presentation of blog materials a lot more modern and is Blogger’s attempt at staying competitive in the blog platform space. Hey with Tumblr just closing an $85 million dollar round of investment this is not a space to be sitting idle. Well, on the Internet, is there any space where you can do that?

Take a look at Google video presentation of these new Dynamic Views. This comes from the Blogger Buzz blog which is using one of the new designs as is the Lat Long blog.

StumbleUpon iPad Upgrade Could Put Them Back on the Marketing Map

Marketers have long had a love / hate relationship with StumbleUpon. The site is known for sending large quantities of traffic to your webpages and if you become a SU favorite, the numbers will go through the roof. The downside is that StumbleUpon traffic rarely stays more than a few seconds and doesn’t usually convert.

So, for those of you who like to keep your bounce rate in check, stop reading. For the rest of you, onward we go to StumbleUpon’s new iPad upgrade. The new interface makes it easy to swipe through page after page, leave your thumbs up or down vote and even comment. It’s also more social with easy share buttons and connections to your SU friends. They also upgraded the smartphone app with a friends bar that shows which of your friends also liked the site.