Business Applications For Blogs


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Presented at the Westerville Library by Adult Services on May 7th, 2008.

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  • Business Applications For Blogs

    1. 1. BLOGS AND YOUR BUSINESS: BROWN BAG LUNCH SERIES Learn how to implement Blogs into your day-to-day business. All links can be found at: May 7 th , 2008 Westerville Public Library
    2. 2. What is a blog? <ul><li>Blog is a shortened form of weblog . </li></ul><ul><li>Originally a form of online diary, mostly created for personal use. </li></ul><ul><li>Modern blogs: easily updated and very current web pages written by one or more authors. </li></ul><ul><li>New content is added through new entries, or posts. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Blogs in Plain English” from the Common Craft show </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    3. 3. What Makes Blogs Different? <ul><li>Easy to Publish— by anyone with a computer. Cheap (or free!) and instantly available to your readers, anywhere in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Easily found— through search engines. The more entries you post, the more people will find you. </li></ul><ul><li>Social —the blogosphere (global network of blog posts) is about conversation. Topics link from one blog to another. </li></ul><ul><li>Viral —Information can spread more quickly than through a news service. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What Makes Blogs Different? <ul><li>Simple Subscription —With a feed reader, you can get new blog posts sent to you automatically. This saves time and eliminates having to search for new information by visiting each blog individually. </li></ul><ul><li>Linkable— Each blog can link to other blogs, and connections between bloggers with similar interests are easily made. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Parts of a Blog Site subscription information Header & tagline Archived posts Search box
    6. 6. Parts of a Blog blogroll Post details (title, time and date, author)
    7. 7. Parts of a Blog Labels are also known as tags or categories Links show what other blogs have been saying about your blog post, or your company. Also called trackbacks .
    8. 8. Parts of a Blog You can choose whether or not to allow comments on your blog. Some bloggers choose to allow comments, but to approve them before they are posted to the blog.
    9. 9. Internal vs. External Blogs <ul><li>Internal blogs: </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible only through company intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used to test out blogging before going public </li></ul><ul><li>Can eliminate or reduce company-wide emails </li></ul><ul><li>External blogs: </li></ul><ul><li>An informal way to publish company news </li></ul><ul><li>A place to ask for customer feedback and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>A place to respond to public criticism and comments </li></ul><ul><li>A way to interact with customers and clients on a more personal level </li></ul>
    10. 10. Web-based Blog Platforms <ul><li>Usually simple to use </li></ul><ul><li>Free or inexpensive to start up </li></ul><ul><li>Often have many templates available to choose from </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger ( ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress ( ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typepad ( ) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Blogger (
    12. 12. Wordpress (
    13. 13. Typepad (
    14. 14. Stand Alone Blog Platforms <ul><li>Installed on your servers </li></ul><ul><li>Blog platforms only </li></ul><ul><li>Need own hosting service and domain name, which are ongoing charges (monthly or yearly) </li></ul><ul><li>Examples include: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Blogging Basics <ul><li>General office email rules still apply (be professional, don’t post anything offensive, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Blog regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Focus each blog post on a single topic </li></ul><ul><li>Post titles are important, so make them specific. The post title is often present in the permanent link to each post. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a font that is easily readable. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to proofread! </li></ul>
    16. 16. Using Pictures On Your Blog <ul><li>Copyrighted images should not be used without permission </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t simply use images from other websites </li></ul><ul><li>Instead: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use photos you have taken or to which you have the rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find free-use photos online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase photos from a stock photo website </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Where to Find Photos <ul><li>Free images: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced search for Creative Commons licensed photos </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons photos always require attribution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stock.Xchang ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes requires giving credit to the photographer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Images for purchase (often higher quality) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>iStockPhoto ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small format only $1 each </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big Stock Photo ( ) </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Help Others Find Your Blog <ul><li>Link to it from your company’s website </li></ul><ul><li>Post a notice in your company newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Put the address on your business cards </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep posts short </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep posts on-topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make your post titles relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be mindful of keywords </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Is your company ready for a blog? <ul><li>Starting an external blog should be a carefully planned decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs are inexpensive to start and maintain, but they take a lot of time to manage successfully. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how your company will choose to manage its blogs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who will be posting? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how often will they post? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are certain topics off-limits? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you handle comments? </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Become Active in the Blogosphere <ul><li>Blogs can influence your company, even if the company chooses not to blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs and blog comments can reveal what people are saying about your company </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of what is being said in the blogosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to posts and comments on other blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Unhappy customers often do not contact the company….they blog. Use blogs to pinpoint and solve problems quickly. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Finding Other Blogs <ul><li>Technorati ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Google Blog Search ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>BlogPulse ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogrolls (what bloggers are reading) </li></ul><ul><li>Comments (your blog or others) </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines (keyword search that adds the word blog ) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks <ul><li>Sept 12, 2004: Blogger posted a comment on a bicyclists blog noting that U-shaped Kryptonite brand bike locks could be picked with a Bic pen. </li></ul><ul><li>Other bloggers soon read and linked to the story </li></ul><ul><li>Within 2 days, widely-read consumer electronics blog Engadget posted a video demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>Kryptonite learned of the problem, but did not address it in the blogging community </li></ul>
    23. 23. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks <ul><li>By September 17 th , the story had made national news in both the New York Times and the Associated Press . </li></ul><ul><li>Finally on September 22 nd , the company announced it would replace any affected locks at no charge. This cost the company as much as $10 million, or 40% of its annual revenue. </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing director Karen Rizzo, as quoted in Fortune : “I don’t necessarily want to use the word ‘devastating,’ but [this has] been serious from a business perspective.” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks <ul><li>Ignoring what your customers are saying can be detrimental to your company </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs did not create the problem with the Kryptonite bike lock, but they spread news of it nearly overnight </li></ul><ul><li>Kryptonite’s response time of 10 days might have once been considered fast, but not in the blogging world. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to their failure to respond to their customers with the same speed at which their customers were complaining, their public image was tarnished. </li></ul><ul><li>Even today, a Google search for “Kryptonite bike locks” easily brings up several sites discussing the vulnerability issue. </li></ul>
    25. 25. At the very least… <ul><ul><li>“ There should be someone at every company whose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>job it is to put into Google and blog search engines the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>name of the company or brand, followed by the word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ sucks’, just to see what customers are saying” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>--Jeff Jarvis, president of Advance Publications’ online properties </li></ul></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Questions? <ul><li>Mandy, Adult Services Department </li></ul><ul><li>Westerville Public Library </li></ul><ul><li>614-882-7277 ext 3 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation can be found at: </li></ul><ul><li>All links can be found at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>