Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility
Absolutely. In fact, there are a large number of corporate blogs that routinely lead the media in newsgathering and distribution.
A prime example happened this morning when Renesys reported that Syria’s entire Internet system was shut down, was cited in numerous stories including the BBC and Slate. Renesys is a New Hampshire company that monitors the Internet for corporations with internationally distributed computing systems.
Another great example is in the malware space. Corporate blogs from anti-virus companies like McAfee and Symantec, as well as internet server providers like Juniper Networks and Barracuda Networks, are routinely monitored by journalists looking for a story.
In fact, increasingly, companies are employing former journalists to run their blogging operations. Many of these ex-journalists, including former EETimes editor Richard Goering, now the senior manager of technical blogging at Cadence Design Systems, see themselves as embedded journalists operating on behalf of a more focused audience.
While these blogs are important for companies and businesses, individuals will also find useful breaking news on company blogs. Examples include sites such as Facebook Security and PayPal, which are also heavily cited as sources for stories on Facebook and shopping trends, respectively.
But can a corporate blog break hard news that is useful every day? Of course! One of the best examples of a consumer-focused blog that initiates a lot of discussion is Robert Scoble’s Scobleizer, a blog that the Rackspace Hosting community manager has been carefully crafting throughout his career. Scoble’s blog very often contains stories (usually in the form of video interviews) that break new developments in the startup space, including some really cool consumer products and capabilities. It may be argued that Rackspace doesn’t actually own the Scobleizer blog, and that’s true: it is merely a sponsor, but a key one at that.
This also brings up a key point: quite often, a great blog is created by a great personality – a rock star blogger on or associated with the corporate team. While some employees may resent bloggers who can achieve huge followings, the fact is that they can and do put a real and very positive face on the corporate brand. Especially when their messages are consistently useful, insightful, and forward-thinking, rock-star corporate bloggers can create a strong impression of thought leadership for the company – a valuable asset, especially for companies trying to establish market leadership.
Blogs can also go viral not just for their news value, but because they are a key part of an integrated marketing program or promotion. We’ll talk about that in another post. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get it!