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The Corporate Blogging Book, by Debbie Weil

Looking for a good book that effectively covers all the pros and cons of corporate blogging? If so, you can’t go wrong with Debbie Weil’s The Corporate Blogging Book.

Here are a few of the key points she makes:

Choose the right topic and make it specific enough. She goes on to say that you’ve got to be passionate about the topic of your blog. I think this is one of the most common reasons why some bloggers give up. They’re interested in a topic but not passionate enough about it to invest the time required to create a dynamic and interesting blog…one that visitors will want to keep coming back to.

Don’t assume your company’s online discussion groups, message boards, etc., are a suitable replacement for a blog. They’re not. It’s like the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver. Both are important tools but they’re used for different situations.

Don’t let your IT department build a blogging platform from scratch. There are too many free or inexpensive options to choose from. Use one of the existing platforms. Don’t take the bait when one of your programmers says they can create something better…they can’t, and it probably won’t have the power and flexibility of the existing tools.

I often overlook the backmatter that comes in most books (e.g., appendixes and other items not deemed important enough to appear earlier). Don’t skip the “bonus resources” in Debbie’s book. I particularly liked reading the usability and design coverage; I’ve seen much of this before but it’s good to read it again to see how you’re doing, what you might need to change, etc.

One of the common promises of corporate blogs is that they solve the “transparency and authenticity” issue with many companies today. Debbie notes this as well. My only comment is that I’ll bet most companies don’t think they have a transparency/authenticity problem. Maybe they’re in denial. Or, maybe it’s the result of the Sarbanes-Oxley world in which we now live, but a lot of companies continue to be extremely uncomfortable with the transparency of a corporate blog. Either way, Debbie’s book is a great tool you can use to not only determine if corporate blogging is an option for your organization, but also how to get a good blog off the ground.

Comments

Joseph A di Paolantonio

Joe,

I wonder if Naked Conversations will see another spike in sales once Amazon.com puts Naked Conversation in a bundle with Debbie's new book, as it did when Amazon bundled it with The Long Tail? I'll have to get The Corporate Blogging Book and see how they compare. >:)

On a side note, your RSS feed stopped validating some months ago. I can't read you in my desktop reader, RSSowl, on either Mac or Windows. Less discriminating readers, like Newsgator, still show you, so I read you on my Palm. ;-) You can check out your validation, and then ask Six Apart about it...

http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fjwikert.typepad.com%2Fthe_average_joe%2Findex.rdf

BTW, it looks better in the validator now than it did when I first noticed this - back then, your feed didn't validate at all.

Joe Wikert

Hi Joseph. I'll have to look into that RSS feed problem. I'm not sure what the issue is. I subscribe to my feed in Bloglines and it looks fine.

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