Is Blogging Good for Business?

There's no denying blogs are everywhere, but many people still question corporate blogs' usefulness as a tool to connect with customers

Starting a company blog might not be the best way to connect with your customers—at least that's the view of half of the readers voting in our poll on business blogging.

But not all respondents are so down on the power of the blog to win customers' hearts and minds.

While 50 per cent of respondents to the reader poll said they don't think a business blog is a good way for companies to communicate with customers, more than a third (35 per cent) said corporate blogs can be beneficial.

The percentage of sceptics has increased since last year's poll when just 38 per cent came out against business blogging—suggesting business blogs are being viewed with increasing suspicion.

Estimates on the number of blogs out there vary, especially the number of blogs being actively updated, but the figure runs into at least the tens of millions.

And while the growth of the blogosphere may not have endeared blogging to every senior executive, it has boosted the profile of the activity. Just two per cent of the respondents to this year's poll said they don't know what a blog is, compared to 14 per cent last year.

The poll also reveals less indecision about the usefulness of business

blogs: 13 per cent of this year's respondents weren't sure if blogging could help them communicate effectively with customers, compared to 17 per cent last year.

Yet with every man and his dog posting views online, many people in the business world are clearly set against the medium as a meaningful channel for corporate communications.

This is in contrast to advice from analyst Gartner which earlier this year urged companies to at least give their CEOs the chance to blog to keep pace with the changing landscape of media and communications in a web 2.0 world.

The workforce of tomorrow is also likely to expect to be allowed to blog at work. In a recent survey of UK teens, more than one-third claimed to have written their own blog and nearly half said they have read somebody else's.

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