Blogging communities revisited

08 November 2005

Back in the early days of this blog, I regularly opined on the benefits of business blogging communities over individual blogs. As it turned out, this was what eventually drove us to launch our own business blogging community rather than have our staff setting up Typepad accounts left, right and centre.

21Publish is a hosted software solution for creating branded blog communities like ours, and to promote their service they have just released a white paper entitled Corporate Group Blogging: Building Business and Product Brands Through Group Blogs and Blogging (PDF download).

Even though we do not use their software, I’m pleased that they included Collective Conversation – our blogging community – as a case study:

“If a leading PR firm can marshal armies of people to help build their brand and to build top of mind awareness using blogs, it is something that every business should consider. Hill & Knowlton’s use is a great example of practising what one preaches.”

The advice in the white paper is sound, although I do have some sympathy for Fredrik’s argument that the reasons they include for why group business blogs can create more value that individual blogs could be applied to any business blog. Things like building tighter trust with audiences, presenting a personal rather than a sanitized face, touching base regularly with customers, and demonstrating thought leadership are all benefits of an individual blog, not just a group blog.

Group blogs do have some benefits over individual blogs, though. I’ve updated the ones I originally suggested back in January. You’d have to do a lot to convince me that any of these could apply to an individual blog created in isolation.

  1. They are easily aggregated into a single point of entry, demonstrating the breadth and depth of collective knowledge within an organisation
  2. They can be more easily “policed” by the creator to ensure the community reflects your own policies and objectives
  3. Readers of your blog can subscribe to an aggregated RSS feed, as well as individual blog feeds
  4. The success of individual blogs impacts on the wider community
  5. It is easier to consolidate categories to create sub-communities of interest
  6. All the blogs within your community can adopt the same branding and design
  7. Visitors can search across the entire community in one go

Anything I missed?

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2 Responses to “Blogging communities revisited”

  1. Easton Ellsworth

    For the past few months I have concluded my blog seminars with the following slide. I hate to say ’slide’ since I only use a few Keynote frames, everything else is browser based. There is nothing more boring than a…

  2. Easton Ellsworth

    Anil Dash, writing on the SixApart ProNet blog says, "many companies need to start a number of blogs."

    Welcome to the party, guys.

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