Tomorrow I’m guest lecturing at NHH in Ingeborg Kleppe’s class Exploring Online Consumer Communities.
I’m gong to talk about corporate blogging in general, and about the ethics of commerical blogging. Students will have their laptops, and as it’s a three-hour class there’ll be ample time for students to do some work of their own as well. I’m planning to do an in-class blog analysis session, building on the blog reviews I used to do with my web design students, and with further inspiration from Mack Collier’s Company Blog Checkup Series. I’ll show the students some examples of Mack’s posts about company blogs, too, and perhaps use his hints on how to revitalise a company blog (warning: you have to sign up for a free but advertisement-ridden membership to read that). Main points: don’t primarily try to sell stuff on the blog, it’s not a brochure (that’s your homepage) – make it a conversation: link to other sites, not just to your own site, share information about more than just your products, respond to comments, link to readers’ blogs, comment on their blogs. The advantages? You’ll get rapid feedback from customers, and customers will trust you more.
The assignment sheet I’ll hand out follows the fold, along with a list of blogs for students to analyse.
Company Blog Checkup
Group work in class, Nov 9, 2007, in Exploring Online Consumer Communities. Work in groups of three.
You have been hired as consultants to the company that runs this blog, and have been asked to report on what is working in the blog and what issues they should address in order to utilise the full potential of blogging in attracting consumers to their products and/or services. Please spend 20 minutes reading and analysing the blog, and 5 minutes preparing your presentation.
You may find the following points useful to consider.
What topics does the blog address?
Are posts frequent or sporadic?
Is there a clear author of the posts?
Do posts invite reader engagement?
Does the blogger respond to comments from readers?
Is there engagement in a larger conversation (links to other blogs)?
Does the blog promote its readers?
What is the writing style like?
How about the layout and use of images?
Do these suit the content and aim of the blog?
Do the authors appear engaged in or passionate about the topics?
Could a new reader see what the blog is about within two minutes? Describe the blog in a sentence.
What appears to be the goal of the blog?
Who is the blog targeting?
What more could this blog do?
Blogs to choose from:
- Visa attityd
- English Cut: Thomas Mahon, bespoke savile row tailor, London.
- Official Google Blog
- Flickr Blog
- Facebook Blog
- Studblogg UiB
- General Motors Blog
Jill I am honored, thank you so much! Will any of your class be recorded and available to view online?