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Compendium Software Update: The Pros and Cons

Compendium_2Here's a quick update to a post I did back in March regarding a local tech start-up, Compendium Software.  Another article ran in today's Indianapolis Star announcing that Compendium is officially open for business and already has their first customer.  Here's the excerpt that got my attention:

"The number one reason companies don't blog is fear. They fear what their employees will say," Baggott said. "What we're doing is giving them this control. Before it's posted, it has to go through an approval process."

I think they're absolutely right about the fear issue, but I'm not totally comfortable with the control solution.  After all, aren't blogs supposed to be open and transparent?  I'm pleased to report that my blog does not go through any sort of edit/control process with my employer.  In fact, I'd probably shut it down if I were forced to have "big brother" manage what I want to say here.  Fortunately for me, Wiley has a very reasonable corporate blogging policy that doesn't force this sort of control.  The golden rule is the same one Scoble has been reciting for years: Don't say anything stupid!

So on the one hand, I'm thrilled to see a local tech start-up involved in such a cool technology and hope it will result in more corporate blogging sites.  On the other hand, I hope the control element doesn't cause it to fail.


Chris Baggott

Thank you for the opportunity to respond Joe. There are two points I'd like to raise simple, and one a little more complex.

the simple answer is the control inherent in Compendium Software's Corporate Blogging Solution is completely flexible. It's up to the organization to determine how loose or tightly they want to control this medium. I hear many companies and specifically public companies that really worry about disclosure laws, Sarbanes Oxley etc... Depending on the kind of company and industry you may have different standards. An organization blogging on Publishing or Journalism probably has a completely different DNA than a Financial Services or health care blogger.

The more complex answer comes down to the question: Why would an organization want to support blogging in the first place?

There is what you are doing: Thought leadership. Wiley benefits indirectly from your blog because the like the idea that they have a lot of smart people and that helps with credibility (that might be a little simplistic, but you get the idea)

The other aspect of what we are doing with Compendium Software is a direct, financially tangible benefit which is specific content generation to support Search Engine Optimization. Organizations like Wiley support a multi billion Pay Per Click industry like Google, etc...

All this money goes into PPC because it works. What's interesting is that 75% of the clicks on a search page are in the Organic Results side.

If Wiley channeled all of their bloggers through a system like Compendium Software, they would win a lot more of the organic searches...there are real dollars associated with Blogging for SEO.

Looking forward to continuing the dialog.

Chris Baggott

Joe Wikert

Hi Chris. Excellent point about the SEO aspects of this and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled that a company like yours is going to bring more companies into the blogosphere. But... I do worry about what sort of mixed message this will send, especially to all the potentially new bloggers this could pull in.

From day one on this blog I've tried to be as open, honest and transparent as possible. Does that mean I'm giving away trade secrets? No, of course not. But it does mean that I don't have to worry about someone tweaking the message I'm trying to deliver. It's from me and it isn't touched by anyone else. That's also why the grammar isn't perfect and I'm sure I've posted my share of typos. But, that's one of the hallmarks I often look for in blogs I gravitate to. I want to know the content isn't puffed up, or altered to suit some PR person's agenda, for example.

This is also one of the reasons why I was critical of the supposed "live blogging" one of our local paper's sportswriters did at the Colts games last year. His "live blogging" consisted of a couple of posts per half which had to go through his editor before they'd go live. The result? They didn't show up till much later than one would expect with a "live blog" from someone sitting in the pressbox. I told him he needed to cut out the middleman, skip the editor and just post his observations. Unfortunately, that's just not how those folks are trained to think. It goes against their very fiber, which is why they'll probably struggle to make that particular blog as successful as it could be.

So again, I applaud your efforts and wish you nothing but total success. I just hope the organizations that adopt your solution use it more for the SEO benefits, and the fact that it's a nice, turnkey corporate blogging solution, and not so much for the editorial control.

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