SixApart catches on to business blogging communities

15 November 2005

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

Welcome to the party, guys. It seems that you have seen first hand why big businesses need blogging communities, not individual corporate blogs.

But let me give any company thinking of doing this some free advice.

Firstly, it’s not about what technology you use. The fact that Movable Type and TypePad support more than one blog is useful, but largely irrelevant. If you are going to reap the benefits of a business blogging community, you really need to think about the following:

  1. What are you trying to achieve? – sales, thought leadership, and customer insight are just a few of the objectives you might have
  2. Set policy and process – given your objectives, who in your organisation will be allowed to blog and how much control do you want to exert over them?
  3. Quality vs. quantity – will the people most likely to blog provide what you need to meet your objectives?
  4. Guidelines – what will your code of practice be?
  5. Communication and training – how will you get maximum engagement amongst your employees?
  6. Promotion – how will you let the world know what you’re doing?
  7. Monitoring – who, if anyone, will be reading what everyone writes and keep the conversations going?

You can read more about how we went about it in this article prepared for Global PR Blog Week 2.0 (site appears to be down, so here’s Google’s cached version).

If you want to talk about some of these issues, just drop me a mail at ncook@hillandknowlton.com.

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3 Responses to “SixApart catches on to business blogging communities”

  1. Anil Dash

    To be fair, we’re speaking to different audiences here. We’re well aware of the need for multiple blogs ourselves (our own company’s been doing multiple blogs for four+ years now) but we wanted to introduce the concept to a lot of our audience who may be less experienced.

    We also agree that overall strategy is essential for a blogging effort to succeed, and that’s why we have (for example) our Six Apart Professional Network, designed to help consultants better address the entire lifecycle of corporate blogging.

    But we also talk about the technology because it’s an important part of the process. Most tools *don’t* allow an unlimited number of blogs to be easily managed in one place, most platforms don’t allow fine-grained control of permissions that businesses need, and much of the software out there frankly isn’t created with the requirements of a corporate IT department in mind. And reliability is important, too — perhaps the team behind the Global PR Week Blog wants to talk about what it takes to have a real business-class tool for a blog, one that comes with professional support.

  2. Niall Cook

    Thanks for responding, Anil. I agree that the technology is an important part of the process – my point is that there are many more important decisions that need to be made before reaching the conclusion that "many companies need to start a number of blogs."

    As the Global PR Blog Week event was a self-organising one run by volunteers and reliant on support from others like SixApart, it’s a shame that your kind offer didn’t come earlier. I’ll certainly ensure the group are aware of it.

  3. Ro

    Nada más y nada menos

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