Image via: Kaushik.net
I noticed this morning on the Wordpress blog that The Independent, a major UK newspaper, had switched its blog platform. One of the paper's editors said that switching from the LiveJournal platform to Wordpress, gave its correspondents working in hostile conditions abroad the ability to post their updates rapidly by email - obviously that's an important benefit. You can take a look at the Independent blogs here.
The article had me thinking about the role that a good blog still plays in a company's overall social web strategy.
For those of us who handle our company's social communications under less risky conditions than those correspondents mentioned above, the actual blog platform is not quite as important. However, the actual blog content and how we talk about our own company's activities and the work we do for our clients, is.
I believe a well run blog is the centre of a company's social web universe, that's why I am not one to agree with a statement like this - Twitter's Rise and the Decline of Blogs - which, ironically, was posted to the We Are Social blog almost one year ago to the day, at a time when everyone was hyper-ventilating about the growth of Twitter.
A year is a long time in the social web world [or should I say, whirl?] While status updates in LinkedIn, or rapid-fire 140 character missives posted to Twitter can be illuminating, they don't leave much room for more expansive pondering or ruminating on one's subject of choice. For that I prefer the blog format. With all the social tools at our fingertips that are easily implemented [especially as simple plug-ins to the Wordpress back end,] a blog easily allows your readers to follow your thoughts on Twitter, follow you on Facebook, or better yet, to actually 'Like' any of your posts and share them with their Facebook friends as well as leave a comment.
Simply adding the 'Like' XFBML tag plug-in to our North Wordpress blog has increased our traffic and unique visitors by more than 900% in 5 weeks. Thank you Facebook.
Currently there's no avoiding Facebook. Of course you already know that. I like the way people are using Facebook tools and in many cases actually making Facebook the centre of their social web universe. Take Steve Rubel, SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, for example. He created a Facebook Stream as he calls it, where he posts interesting snippets of info culled from the web, that are either relevant to his work or his client's work. For longer thoughts he posts to his Posterous blog which integrates seamlessly with Facebook. There's that word blog again.
As each new social web tool or platform arrives [and they will,] let's not throw the blog out with the bathwater to coin a phrase. Your company blog is a window into your company's culture, how it lives and breathes, how it thinks, how it shares its ideas and most importantly, it allows a two-way discussion via commenting. For many creative companies like our own, the blog is a premier digital gateway that leads our clients and visitors deeper into our social web worlds.
A question - do you consider your company's web presence a 'site' or a 'blog' ?