Blogs: Die Maus die brüllte

Posted on May 8, 2006
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BBC (Blogs making their impact felt):

The impact of blogging has reached a tipping point, argues Julian Smith, senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

Anyone studying the media over the last few months might have noticed a sudden increase in concern about the growth of consumer-created content and the impact of blogging on business.

In April this year, Custom Communications laid on a first of its kind event on Blogging4Business to discuss how this burgeoning micro-publishing practice can potentially damage a brand. In May, traditional news producers, aggregators and distributors gathered at the We Media global forum to debate the future of news in light of the growth of blogging and citizen journalism. Even the BBC is being forced to address this emerging trend for consumer online self-expression.
….

Put simply, it is because the internet, enabled by a rapid switch to broadband, has recently reached a tipping point in its evolutionary path. It has moved, relatively quickly, from a predominantly one-way, read-only medium to a more two-way, participatory, collaborative and interconnected medium. This is reflected in the growing popularity of sites like MySpace.com, Wikipedia, Flickr and blogging platforms such as Blogger.com or Livejournal.com. With this has come a shift in the balance of power between consumer and provider, whether it be of content, products or services. As the web crosses over from its 1.0 to 2.0 incarnation, consumers, especially the connected young generation, are being imbued with new powers. …

For news providers, the ability of consumers to post their own stories and commentaries on events affect their ability to act as a go-to source of up-to-date information. While unprompted online content contributors, such as bloggers, chat room participants and discussion board posters, remain a minority online at present, their prominence and influence is in the ascendance as the web evolves. This is why there is a growing buzz about consumer-created content in the industry at present and why businesses need to start considering how they might find opportunities for their business and mitigate the threats of this shifting balance of power.

Wie wirken Corporate Blogs: Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung

Posted on March 20, 2006
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eine umfangreiche Veröffentlichung zu diesem Thema findet man hier:
Organizational Blogs and the Human Voice: Relational Strategies and Relational Outcomes

Tom Kelleher, Barbara M. Miller
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Inhalt:

This study develops and tests operational definitions of relational maintenance strategies appropriate to online public relations. An experiment was designed to test the new measures and to test hypotheses evaluating potential advantages of organizational blogs over traditional Web sites. Participants assigned to the blog condition perceived an organization’s “conversational human voice” to be greater than participants who were assigned to read traditional Web pages. Moreover, perceived relational strategies (conversational human voice, communicated relational commitment) were found to correlate significantly with relational outcomes (trust, satisfaction, control mutuality, commitment)… Web logs, or blogs, offer a unique channel for developing and maintaining relationships between organizations and publics. The purpose of this study is to triangulate professional literature on online communication, scholarship on relational maintenance strategies and relational outcomes, and quantitative data to explore the potential of blogs as tools for public relations. The centrality of relationships in building public relations theory is clearly apparent in recent scholarly literature, and this interest is not limited to the ivory tower. Public relations professionals also have taken interest in relationships as the foundation for their work and have sought ways to measure their contributions as such.

Konklusion:

The observed advantage of blogs in conveying a conversational human voice echoes what popular and professional literature on the nature of blogs already tells us. Blogs are a good place to speak candidly with a conversational style (e.g., “invite people to a conversation”), and this conversational style may be an important part of the process of building and maintaining computer-mediated relationships. Among the most important findings of this study are that 1) blogs were perceived as more conversational than organizational Web sites, and 2) this conversational human voice correlated positively with other previously-identified relationship outcomes. The perceived personal nature of organizational blogs, in this case, is related to relationship indicators. But when public relations people want to discuss their commitment to the relationship between their organizations and publics, or to communicate the organization’s desire to build relationships (identified as communicated relational commitment), this is likely done just as well where people would expect to find such information, in the more traditional venues of case studies and corporate Web pages. Although blogs allow people representing organizations to speak candidly, blogs may not be the best venue for “PR” messages intended to talk up an organization’s commitment to its public relationships.

As Searls and Weinberger expounded “… the best of the people in PR are not PR Types at all… they’re the company’s best conversationalists” (2001, p. 90). This is quite a conundrum for the practice and theory of public relations. Answering the riddle requires an understanding of which relational strategies should be (and should not be) used in which forums. At the heart of the matter are the questions of who public relations people are and how they communicate to build and maintain solid relationships, online and elsewhere. This paper offers valuable theoretical tools for pursuing this line of inquiry. To enter the market conversation, Web sites need to have a voice, express a point of view, ignite a dialogue, and give access to helpful people (Searls & Weinberger, 2001). It all starts with having a voice. Expressing a point of view in a personal tone in a blog is likely a good way to get a conversation started. The actual interaction between organizations and their publics that follows is a promising focus of future research.

Viel Zeit mitbringen beim Lesen der Analyse!

Euroblogs 2006

Posted on March 20, 2006
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Euroblogs?

EuroBlog 2006, the first pan-European survey of this kind, provides a comprehensive overview of who is using blogs and for what purpose. Run by EUPRERA, the European Public Relations Education and Research Association, a community of leading researchers from universities and institutions from more than 30 countries, it both informs academic debate and presents tangible, practical findings that will be of great value to Public Relations practitioners across Europe.

The first survey phase of EuroBlog 2006 is now complete. Many thanks to everyone who has supported the research and to all those people from every country in Europe who have completed the questionnaire. First results have been published on this website. If you are interested in future activities and reports, please register.

Auf Euroblogs wurden nun im Rahmen eines Symposiums (Welcome to the first international symposium that explores the challenges and chances of truly interactive technologies characterizing the “google world” for communication management. 40 researchers and public relations practicioners from 13 countries will share their concepts and experiences in a fully packed two-day symposium (download program) die Vorträge veröffentlicht >>.

Haufenweise Unterlagen zum Buddeln:

viel Spaß beim Wühlen!

Querschnitt durch die US-Firmenbloglandschaft

Posted on March 20, 2006
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Die Kansas City Star hat einen praktischen Überbick über eine Reihe von US-Amerikanischen Firmen erstellt, die Blogs nutzen. Es werden einige Vorteile genannt, die sich in der Praxis eingestellt haben. Lohnenswert zum Lesen. Auszüge aus The bottom line on blogging, companies find all that Web talk builds business

Unterhalte Dich auch im Netz mit Deinen Kunden:

Business is talking, and consumers aren’t just listening anymore. They’re talking back. Blogs — online journals popular for several years with teens and anyone else with a desire to share details about their lives or a favorite hobby — are finding a place in corporate America.

Auch Suchmaschinen spielen eine wichtige Rolle:

Companies are using blogs to build good will, to push their Web sites higher up on search engine lists and to get consumers talking about their brand. IBM encourages employees to blog and set up a “Blog Central” site on the company’s intranet to spotlight the work of IBM bloggers. The company also set up templates to help bloggers get started.

Nicht jede Firma springt auf den fahrenden Zug:

Larger companies are faced with concerns that blogs could become a place for consumers to lash out, or a place that company secrets or dirty laundry might get leaked intentionally or unintentionally. “There is a feeling in large companies that this is a little bit dangerous,” said Vicki Warker, a Sprint vice president for business marketing who writes an occasional blog called Things that make you go wireless. “But it’s also dangerous not to know what’s going on.” Jantsch, whose Duct Tape Marketing blog covers small business, said the Internet gave consumers a place to talk — whether a company liked it and supported it or not. “If you’re going to get a lot of bad feedback on your blog, then you’re getting that anyway,” Jantsch said. “They’re just going other places.”

Manchmal ist es auch umgekehrt, wenn Blogger mit der Firma reden, es handelt sich dabei idR um besonders interessierte Kunden:

A site popular with some Sprint PCS users — www.sprintpcsinfo.com — was formed a couple of years ago “out of sheer consumer activism,” said the site’s editor, Christopher Price. The founders of the blog were trying to pressure Sprint to build Bluetooth connectivity into Sprint phones, enabling them to connect wirelessly with other devices. “It took about six months, but they finally did it,” Price said. The site is no longer an “activist” blog, but instead tries to inform Sprint consumers about new products and problems.

Das Bid Dont von Blogs?

In the blogging world, where virtually everyone has an opinion or 20, there seems to be unanimous agreement about one thing. Blogs aren’t about advertising, at least not in the traditional sense of advertising. They’re about visibility. Blogs draw consumers looking for information. And they draw search engines directed by consumers looking for information.

Und das Bloggen hat per se auch einen weiteren Vorteil für den Mitarbeiter, was ich nur bestätigen kann:

But there are other corporate benefits — both marketing-related and job-related. Dave Seitter, a lawyer with the Spencer Fane Britt & Browne law firm in Kansas City, has been writing a blog on construction law issues for more than a year. Jantsch recommended Weblogs to Seitter about a year ago. It was a very new concept for the 51-year-old lawyer.“It sounded to me like some sort of health treatment or going to the spa,” Seitter said. Now he’s a convert. “It helps me stay focused on the industry,” Seitter said. “I’m finding I read a lot more.” Brill of IBM agreed. “It’s part of what I do to maintain my job,” Brill said. “If I didn’t do it, I would be less successful than I am.”

Immobilienblogs in den USA

Posted on February 27, 2006
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Exciting ECommerce verweist auf eine spannende (?) Studie in den USA: It´s Your Web: Real Estate Blogs and Communities von Inman. Es geht u.a. um das Thema Weblogs und wie man diese nutzen kann, um seine Ziele zu fördern. Begleitend dazu werden drei Artikel online gestellt:

In the early days of the Web, not many people were adding content on their own. But that is quickly changing with more community-focused and social networking sites popping up and more people writing blogs. In this three-part report we explore how more people are adding their own real estate content and discussions onto the Internet, what they are talking about and what’s motivating them.

Artikelreihe Real estate blogs spark key industry debate (No.2+3 kommen noch):
1. Part 1: More people engaging in real estate discussions online (wie werden Immobilienweblogs genutzt)
2. Community real estate sites take off
3. The marketing power of social networking sites

Ein erfolgreicher Immobilienblogger beschreibt seine Strategie (Matrix und Soapbox):

Millers Kompetenzstrategie:

“I didn’t start this thinking I’m going to make money,” said Miller, who is president and CEO of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based property appraisal firm. Instead he thought, “here’s a cool vehicle to present information that interests me and will interest people in related fields.” … While Miller says his company’s Web traffic has grown since launching the blogs, the greatest benefit for him has been sparking these real estate discussions. “My voice is not to be the answer guy,” Miller said. “It’s more like, here’s all the pros and here’s all the cons,” presenting the information and letting people discuss and draw conclusions.

Zum Zeitaufwand:

At the Matrix blog, Miller covers anything related to real estate economics, and in Soapbox he narrows the subject to property appraisal issues. He spends between one and a half hours and three hours per day blogging.

Zur konkreten Umsetzung seiner Artikelstrategie:

“The hard part is figuring out the topic,” Miller said. Some blogs simply take text from a news story and display it on a Web site, which Miller says doesn’t interest him because that information can be found elsewhere. “My goal is to cull information and make it logical,” he said. In one blog post, for example, Miller pulled together all the major newspapers’ interpretations of his fourth-quarter Manhattan market study to show how varied they were.

Warum kein direktes Marketing für die zu vermittelnden Immobilien?

Many real estate blogs have ended up being marketing vehicles for available home listings, something that Miller thinks doesn’t work for this medium. “I don’t think that’s effective… you’re not going there to get listings, you’re going there to get informed,” he said.

GM Fastlane Blog: Auch ein Konzern kann offen in der Krise kommunizieren

Posted on February 22, 2006
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General Motors schreibt immense Verluste. Das bringt natürlich Bob Lutz, den auf Fastlane bloggenden Vize von GM in Bedrängnis. Seit die Krise bekannt ist, haben sich viele gefragt, warum Bob immer nur seine Artikel auf die Automodelle fokussiert statt auch mal mit einem Wort die Krise zu erwähnen. Das hat er nun getan, und wie, in einem offenen “Brief” an die Blogger, Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before:

At the risk of repeating what I’ve already posted, I must share what’s top of mind today, and that is GM’s consumer consideration levels. This issue, this question of how do we increase awareness, improve our image, and enhance public opinion of our cars and trucks, is weighing on everyone’s mind in this company, from the plant floors to the boardroom. We are all weary of hearing that GM doesn’t have any vehicles that people want or that GM doesn’t excite anyone or doesn’t have any products that are relevant… Our launch vehicles are continuing to do well in the marketplace, and we have high hopes for the upcoming launches too, like the Saturn Sky and Aura, for example. And yet, the coverage of our financial state continues to point out our alleged lack of cars and trucks that people want. All the while more than a quarter of the vehicles sold in America are ours.

Und bittet die Blogger um Mithilfe(!!!):

Yes, we’d like it to be more than that, no question, and we’re working hard to increase the total. But the deeper issue is this question of our image, and this perception that nobody’s interested in our products. We can and will do a better job of advertising and communications in the traditional sense, but we need to step up our non-traditional communications and word of mouth, and get our message directly to the people on a grass roots level. This blog is one example but we need more avenues, and bigger ideas. What do you think?

Nochmals zum Mitschreiben: Eines der weltweit größten Konzerne der Welt fragt Blogger um Rat, was General Motors besser machen kann, um seine Marke und seine Produkte zu kommunizieren? Das ist ein einmaliges Experiment, was hier versucht wird. Bar jeglicher Vorgehensweise auf klassischem Wege. Niemals käme normalerweise auf die Idee, seinen Kunden gegenüber einzugestehen, dass man anscheinend nicht gut genug kommuniziert und niemals käme ein Konzern normalerweise auf die Idee, seine Kunden in einem höchst sensiblen Bereich um Rat zu fragen. Und da fragt nicht irgendein Mitarbeiter, sondern einer der höchstrangigen Vorstände von GM. Normalerweise. Alte Zeiten gegen Neue Zeiten? Und mehr als 180 Kommentierende versuchen ihre Vorschläge einzubringen. Einige Vorschläge sind nicht einmal so dumm.

via BlogWrite for CEOs

Corporate Weblogs wachsen nach innen

Posted on February 14, 2006
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Business Week in The Inside Story on Company Blogs:

Instead of public blogs, think about blog technology. That’s the focus for many leading companies around the world. From McDonald’s (MCD) to Cannondale Bicycle, corporations are using the software to revamp internal communications, reach out to suppliers, and remake corporate Intranets. Often the site doesn’t look much different from what it’s replacing. Sometimes there’s nothing particularly bloggy about the results. But these corporate initiatives are interactive and cheap to deploy — making them an attractive form of communication. “Blogs are a way to bring our knowledge together,” says Dave Weick, chief information officer at McDonald’s.

In der Tat sind die Einführungskosten von Blogs gegenüber klassischen CMS Monster ein wichtiger Punkt, nicht nur die einfache Bedienung (user acceptance!!!) und das wird sich weiter herumsprechen:

Why are blogs supplanting traditional corporate Intranets? They’re a snap to set up, and cheap to run. That’s why the blog universe — as counted by Technorati, the leading blog search engine — has tripled to 27 million in the last year. They dwarf the number of personal Web pages, which require more technical expertise.

Aber letztlich ist die Kombination aus niedrigen Einführungskosten und einfacher Bedienung nichts wert, wenn sie keinen Nutzen hätte. Und da spielen Blogs ihre ganze Stärke aus, denn es sind und bleiben Kommunikationstools. Dafür wurden sie geboren und weiterentwickelt:

What’s more, blogs are designed to change daily and — importantly — to receive comments from the public. This means that while traditional corporate Intranets are static, blogs generate conversation…. The first corporate blogger at McDonald’s was Chief Operating Officer Michael Roberts, who launched his internal blog last fall. He used it to spread information through the company’s global operations and receive feedback. Now, according to Weick, McDonald’s is distributing blog access to thousands of employees, who will use them to report on operations at restaurants worldwide.

Smell the Fear: Robert Scoble über Corporate Blogging

Posted on February 9, 2006
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liftInteressantes Video von Robert Scoble und weiteren Experten anlässlich der LIFT-Konferenz in Genf. LIFT? LIFT is about teaming talented observers, explorers, and builders with people whose work depends on understanding current challenges and creative solutions presented by emerging technologies. Attendees will face cutting edge business models, bold predictions, radical thinking — ideas to inject into their own part of the planet. LIFT has a simple goal: connect people who are passionate about new applications of technology and propel their conversations into the broader world to improve life and work

Robert Scoble? Der Veranstalter (Konferenz LIFT, Genf) über Robert Scoble, falls Ihr den nicht kennt:

It is hard not to think of the scobleizer when you seek those currently moving things. Believe it or not, the guy has been given the keys of Microsoft public relations with the most critical community (in both senses of the word: the most unconvinced, and the most critic prone): the geeks. And by mixing tech-savvy comments, smart analysis and objective self-critics he has managed to not only change people’s view, but also mentalities inside the company. Did you realize that a single person’s attitude, when relayed by a blog, can spread that much?

Unbedingt den Vortrag anschauen, es lohnt sich allemal. Man erfährt viel über die Hintergründe des Corporate Bloggings, der Vor- und der Nachteile.

Man kann nicht mit ihnen, man kann nicht ohne sie

Posted on February 9, 2006
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Das UK Magazin Economist zeichnet die US-Blogosphere und ihr Verhältnis zu den US Firmen, bzw wohl eher das, was den Firmen blühen kann:
Corporate Blogging

The spread of “social media” across the internet—such as online discussion groups, e-mailing lists and blogs—has brought forth a new breed of brand assassin, who can materialise from nowhere and savage a firm’s reputation. Often the assault is warranted; sometimes it is not. But accuracy is not necessarily the issue. One of the main reasons that executives find bloggers so very challenging is because, unlike other “stakeholders”, they rarely belong to well-organised groups. That makes them harder to identify, appease and control…

In the blogosphere, however, a corporation’s next big critic could be anyone. He might be an angry customer or a disgruntled employee—though that sort of tie to the company is not essential; nor does he need lots of industry experience or lengthy credentials to be a threat. All a blogger really needs to devastate a company is a bit of information and plausibility, a complaint that catches the imagination and a knack for making others care about his gripe.

Increasingly, companies are learning that the best defence against these attacks is to take blogs seriously and fix rapidly whatever problems they turn up.

Many big companies have been looking eagerly for ways to tailor their advertising to specific groups of consumers. They have found that web logs and internet discussion groups, which bring together people of similar interests, can help them turn hot links into cold cash. But besides trying to get out their message, companies are also learning that blogs can provide early warning signs of potential problems.

Also alles in allem ein Bericht, der sich mit Krisen beschäftigt, die durch die Blogs heraus getragen werden. Das ist ganz klar nur die eine Seite der Medaille.

via Micro Persuasion

Gates und Ballmer über Weblogs

Posted on January 31, 2006
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wollte ich schon lange posten, einen kurzen Ausschnitt aus den jeweiligen Interviews mit Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft) und mit Bill Gates. Zur Frage von Scoble, der als der Chefblogger von Microsoft das Interview geführt hat, die recht einfach war: “Warum bloggen die Microsoft Mitarbeiter, was halten sie davon”.

Und statt einer typisch komplex-ausweichend-vorsichtigen Beraterantwort – “es kommt darauf an” – kam die klassische Simplifizierung eines Topmanagers. Sowohl von Ballmer, der es besonders simpel ausdrückt, als auch von Gates.

Lets listen to Steve:

Direktlink
(das ganze Interview kann man auf Channel 9 einsehen)

Und Bill:

Direktlink
(das ganze Interview kann man auf Channel 9 einsehen)

keep looking »