Business Applications For Blogs

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

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

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  • 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: http://del.icio.us/westervillelibrary/blogs May 7 th , 2008 Westerville Public Library
  • 2. What is a blog?
    • Blog is a shortened form of weblog .
    • Originally a form of online diary, mostly created for personal use.
    • Modern blogs: easily updated and very current web pages written by one or more authors.
    • New content is added through new entries, or posts.
    • “ Blogs in Plain English” from the Common Craft show
    • http://www.commoncraft.com/blogs
  • 3. What Makes Blogs Different?
    • Easy to Publish— by anyone with a computer. Cheap (or free!) and instantly available to your readers, anywhere in the world.
    • Easily found— through search engines. The more entries you post, the more people will find you.
    • Social —the blogosphere (global network of blog posts) is about conversation. Topics link from one blog to another.
    • Viral —Information can spread more quickly than through a news service.
  • 4. What Makes Blogs Different?
    • 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.
    • Linkable— Each blog can link to other blogs, and connections between bloggers with similar interests are easily made.
  • 5. Parts of a Blog Site subscription information Header & tagline Archived posts Search box
  • 6. Parts of a Blog blogroll Post details (title, time and date, author)
  • 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. 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. Internal vs. External Blogs
    • Internal blogs:
    • Accessible only through company intranet
    • Can be used to test out blogging before going public
    • Can eliminate or reduce company-wide emails
    • External blogs:
    • An informal way to publish company news
    • A place to ask for customer feedback and ideas
    • A place to respond to public criticism and comments
    • A way to interact with customers and clients on a more personal level
  • 10. Web-based Blog Platforms
    • Usually simple to use
    • Free or inexpensive to start up
    • Often have many templates available to choose from
    • Some examples:
        • Blogger ( www.blogger.com )
        • WordPress ( www.wordpress.com )
        • Typepad ( www.typepad.com )
  • 11. Blogger (www.blogspot.com)
  • 12. Wordpress (www.wordpress.com)
  • 13. Typepad (www.typepad.com)
  • 14. Stand Alone Blog Platforms
    • Installed on your servers
    • Blog platforms only
    • Need own hosting service and domain name, which are ongoing charges (monthly or yearly)
    • Examples include:
        • www.wordpress.org
        • www.movabletype.com
        • http://b2evolution.net/
  • 15. Blogging Basics
    • General office email rules still apply (be professional, don’t post anything offensive, etc.)
    • Blog regularly
    • Focus each blog post on a single topic
    • Post titles are important, so make them specific. The post title is often present in the permanent link to each post.
    • Choose a font that is easily readable.
    • Be sure to proofread!
  • 16. Using Pictures On Your Blog
    • Copyrighted images should not be used without permission
    • Don’t simply use images from other websites
    • Instead:
      • Use photos you have taken or to which you have the rights
      • Find free-use photos online
      • Purchase photos from a stock photo website
  • 17. Where to Find Photos
    • Free images:
      • Flickr ( www.flickr.com )
        • Advanced search for Creative Commons licensed photos
        • Creative Commons photos always require attribution
      • Stock.Xchang ( www.sxu.hu )
        • Sometimes requires giving credit to the photographer
    • Images for purchase (often higher quality)
      • iStockPhoto ( www.istockphoto.com )
        • Small format only $1 each
      • Big Stock Photo ( www.bigstockphoto.com )
  • 18. Help Others Find Your Blog
    • Link to it from your company’s website
    • Post a notice in your company newsletter
    • Put the address on your business cards
    • Tips for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO
      • Keep posts short
      • Keep posts on-topic
      • Make your post titles relevant
      • Be mindful of keywords
  • 19. Is your company ready for a blog?
    • Starting an external blog should be a carefully planned decision.
    • Blogs are inexpensive to start and maintain, but they take a lot of time to manage successfully.
    • Consider how your company will choose to manage its blogs:
      • who will be posting?
      • how often will they post?
      • Are certain topics off-limits?
      • How will you handle comments?
  • 20. Become Active in the Blogosphere
    • Blogs can influence your company, even if the company chooses not to blog.
    • Blogs and blog comments can reveal what people are saying about your company
    • Keep track of what is being said in the blogosphere
    • Respond to posts and comments on other blogs
    • Unhappy customers often do not contact the company….they blog. Use blogs to pinpoint and solve problems quickly.
  • 21. Finding Other Blogs
    • Technorati ( www.technorati.com )
    • Google Blog Search ( http://blogsearch.google.com )
    • BlogPulse ( http://blogpulse.com/ )
    • Blogrolls (what bloggers are reading)
    • Comments (your blog or others)
    • Search engines (keyword search that adds the word blog )
  • 22. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks
    • 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.
    • Other bloggers soon read and linked to the story
    • Within 2 days, widely-read consumer electronics blog Engadget posted a video demonstration
    • Kryptonite learned of the problem, but did not address it in the blogging community
  • 23. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks
    • By September 17 th , the story had made national news in both the New York Times and the Associated Press .
    • 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.
    • 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.”
  • 24. Real World Example: Kryptonite Locks
    • Ignoring what your customers are saying can be detrimental to your company
    • Blogs did not create the problem with the Kryptonite bike lock, but they spread news of it nearly overnight
    • Kryptonite’s response time of 10 days might have once been considered fast, but not in the blogging world.
    • Due to their failure to respond to their customers with the same speed at which their customers were complaining, their public image was tarnished.
    • Even today, a Google search for “Kryptonite bike locks” easily brings up several sites discussing the vulnerability issue.
  • 25. At the very least…
      • “ There should be someone at every company whose
      • job it is to put into Google and blog search engines the
      • name of the company or brand, followed by the word
      • ‘ sucks’, just to see what customers are saying”
        • --Jeff Jarvis, president of Advance Publications’ online properties
  • 26. Questions?
    • Mandy, Adult Services Department
    • Westerville Public Library
    • 614-882-7277 ext 3
    • [email_address]
    • Presentation can be found at: www.slideshare.net/westervillelibrary
    • All links can be found at:
    • http://del.icio.us/westervillelibrary/blogs