Business Blogs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Tue, Jan 15 - 12:01 am EDT | 10 years ago by
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    ( Very soon we’re going to start reviewing the business blogs of the Fortune 500 and the Global Fortune 500.  That may seem like a daunting task, but since fewer than 10% of the F500 corporations have an external blog  - it’s a more manageable task than you might think.  (We’re still working on the list of companies from the Global F500, but as you can imagine there’s a lot of overlap on the two lists)

    My prediction is that by the time we have exhausted our list of blogs, there will be a whole lot more of them out there.  There was huge worldwide growth of social media in 2007.  Many indications are that 2008 is going to be a year of explosive growth for social media and word of mouth advertising  Blogging is one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways for businesses, both big and small,  to engage their customers in spreading their word for them.

    So, how should we evaluate the corporate blogs that do exist?

    Laura and I’ve come up with this list of criteria that we think the best corporate blogs should have.   This might change as we start working through the list as we, like you, may learn a few things about what can and should be done with corporate blogs.

    We are going to categorize blogs into three classes:

    The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

    (my husband’s favorite movie – can’t you just hear the theme music???)

    Good Blogs will be:

    • easy to find
    • frequently updated 
    • written in an engaging manner
    • relevant
    • focused 
    • honest
    • interactive
    • responsive

    Bad blogs will be:

    • hard to find
    • infrequently updated
    • censored 
    • one-way communication
    • unresponsive
    • defensive 

    Ugly blogs will be:

    • boring
    • inaccurate or misleading
    • filled with technical jargon (for a non-technical audience)
    • full of regulations and legal disclaimers 
    • self-absorbed
    • press releases in disguise

    What do you think? Did we miss any? 

    Quick – take a look at your blog – where does it fall? Good, Bad or Ugly?? 

    (gulp!) Where do you think Businessandblogging falls????

    Our first review will start with one of the oldest and most famous corporate blog – GM’s Fastlane started in 2005.   Look for it soon!

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      • Susan Gunelius

        Thanks for the link, Liz! I’m looking forward to reading your reviews. One thing that drives me crazy about corporate blogs is when they are simply filled with corporate rhetoric!

      • Liz Fuller

        I agree Susan – to be effective, blogs should be authentic conversation starters – not re-made press releases….we shall see…

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      • Susan Gunelius

        I’m really looking forward to the first review. By the way, I just added Business and Blogging to the Businesswomen Bloggers Directory on!

      • Laura

        Thanks Susan!

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      • cindy*staged4more

        I will add 2 to the ugly: simply copying and pasting other people’s contents and just written for the sake of selling the merch.. So boring to read. ack.


      • Liz Fuller

        Thanks Cindy!
        You’re right – both of those belong in the ugly category. They aren’t really in the spirit of blogging – to build authentic relationships.

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      • John Cass

        Hi Liz, Tiffany Derville, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Public Relations at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon has set a number of her students to the task of reviewing blogs of the Fortune 500. We are racking up the reviews on the wiki with all of the student’s work. Tiffany thought that were was a need for more guidance on what is frequent and what is not in a blog. I wondered how you rate blogs for frequency? And if you thought the following measure makes sense?

        2-3 posts a week constitute an average rating or 5 point, a post every business day is 7 points, on the weekend as well 8 points, and more than that 9 or 10 points. Mashable for example deserves a 10.

      • Laura Spencer

        Hi John!

        Interesting scale. I would definitely expect more frequency from a corporate blog than a small business blog.

        The measure that you suggest makes sense, but I also think that there needs to be some points subtracted for corporate blogs that post less often.

        The course sounds fascinating. I’d love to hear more about it.

      • Tiffany Derville

        John, the scale you suggested would be helpful to my students. Thank you for proposing it.

        Laura, perhaps the scale can serve as a guide, and reviewers can use their discretion regarding details like the size of the organization. I imagine though that because these are all Fortune 500 companies, we can expect that they are large.

        Also, thank you for your interest in my Advanced Public Relations Writing course! Students from my class and Kelli Matthews’ class are completing blog reviews. I will also suggest this assignment to the instructor of our summer class.

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        I don’t know how their workmanship is but I’m not impressed how they treat our Air Force Pilots this past Saturday 830am in the morning when its raining September 28 2013 one of their drivers moved over against the curb into the deep water passed one of our pilots walking along side South East 59th Street what a umbrella and absolutely drowned him once he was past him he moved back over out of the deep water and kept on going it was very obvious that this Act was done deliberately my wife and I witness this!
        This is no way to treat people, and the pilot was in his one peace jump suit and this made it VERY obvious what and who he IS , This MAN is putting his LIFE on the line for every one including the person who did this to him!!!!!!!
        HighTechTronics in Oklahoma did this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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