Like a high-tech entrepreneur’s invention, the value of business blogs is yet unproven.
In a previous blog entry, I used Geoffrey Moore’s "crossing the chasm" idea to theorize that blogs help build a bridge of trust across the gap between early adopters and the early majority when it comes to high-tech products or services.
Start-up businesses, corporations, or organizations who use blogs are entrepreneurs. They’re taking a chance on a new method. ROI, return on investment? We’ve got a good biz plan that makes intuitive good sense. No guarantees.
For the Inside VT KnowledgeWorks blog to be successful by this writer’s standards, all it would take is for one person to contact one of the 31 Member Companies of VT KnowledgeWorks, saying in a voice mail or writing in an e-mail, "I read about you in a blog. I want to be your _______ ." (Fill in the blank: venture capitalist, angel investor, vendor, partner, employee, customer.)
But. Then I would dust off my hands, say, "Good. One down, 30 to go," and quote Mary Poppins: "Spit-spot."
As far as I know, as of this writing (2/13/08), Jim Flowers, director of VT KnowledgeWorks and president of the Virginia Business Incubation Association, heads the only business incubator in the U.S. with a blog written about its companies, much less written in the context of the local economy, or with consideration of entrepreneurship as a discipline of study.
Flowers is an entrepreneur. Here’s what he thinks about blogs.
This blog is an act of entrepreneurship. Let the crossing of the chasm begin.
I’m writing a series on business blogs.
I’ve also compiled a page of books on blogs.
And here are interesting blogs, blog entries, and articles on blogs:
"… blogs are one of the best ways to get buzz. They have changed everything because they represent a cheap, effective podium for creating buzz on a massive scale." (Added 6/21/08)
From For All You Do, Bud, This Blog is About You, 4/24/08, by David Kesmodel, about Miller’s Brew Blog and its goals: "’They are trying to aggressively go around the gatekeepers [in newsrooms and the trade press],’ says Stephen Quigley, an associate professor of public relations at Boston University. ‘It’s something you couldn’t do five years ago,’ before the proliferation of blogs." (Added 4/29/08)
Getting on the Radar of an Industry’s Top Bloggers, by Raymund Flandez, The Wall Street Journal, 4/15/08: "Getting a mention in an influential blog can be a marketing coup for a small company. Some bloggers have a loyal following of readers who trust their opinions. So if those bloggers write positively about a product or service, chances are some of those readers will give it a try." (Added 4/20/08)
Can User-Generated Content Generate Revenue? from eMarketer, 4/17/08: "So the content is there, but is it accompanied by a viable revenue model?" (Added 4/19/09)
Dooce.com was featured on the front page of the Personal Journal section of the print edition of The Wall Street Journal on 4/10/08 as #59 on the Technorati list of top 100 blogs: The Blogger Mom: In Your Face (Added 4/11/08)
Attention, Bloggers: For small businesses that can’t afford a lot of marketing, the blogosphere offers a cheaper alternative, The Wall Street Journal, 3/17/08 (Added 3/18/08)
Marketing with Social Media, The Wall Street Journal, 3/17/08: "Reaching out to bloggers and social-media sites can help small companies build buzz even when marketing budgets are small." (Added 3/18/08)
From Employee Blogging: What’s the Purpose, an interview with Chris Baggott of Compendium Blogware, by Lee Gomes in the Wall Street Journal, 3/4/08: "You want employees to blog in order to put content out on the Web that will then attract people to your Web site through search engines." (Added 3/6/08)
Ben Martin offers Seven Simple Tips for New Bloggers.
According to a February 2008 Inc. Magazine article, "…Google, the great arbiter of Web success, has a particular love for blogs."
In the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Guy Kawasaki writes, "Your company’s blog could be one of your strongest marketing tools–so get talking."
Also in the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Mike Hogan writes, "Entrepreneurs are starting to make tidy livings off their blogs."
In her blog, The Inside Scoop on All Things PR, Rachel Herrscher asks, "How many of you have ‘Reach out to bloggers’ as a tactic in your marketing and public relations plan this year?"
And Herrscher points to David Wescott’s blog: "It’s just a hunch, but if you want to know a bit about what makes a really good blogger tick, you might want to read up on entrepreneurship and what the best entrepreneurs have in common."