Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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September 7, 2005

Jim Finn’s of IBM’s current thoughts on blogging

Jim Finn, IBM’s VP of Communications spoke with me yesterday about IBM’s blogging strategy. I was particularly interested in the value of IBM’s internal blogging efforts. Jim promised to get back to me with some examples over time. He also mentioned that the company is planning on asking for more feedback from customers over time on their external blogs, but that activity will be a slow process.

We talked a lot about how each company has a different culture and for IBM the company really wants to mainly blog about products and industry trends rather than too much off-topic subjects. Jim thought his customers would appreciate that more than discussing non-product issues. However, Jim did agree that sometimes it makes sense for bloggers to discuss their personal lives and interests.

Jim told me that IBM recognizes that their customers are using blogs to discuss ideas and products, and that IBM is monitoring the blogosphere and will become more active over time. Jim described the company’s approach to choosing who should blog externally at IBM. Where a particular unit at IBM recognizes an online customer group, IBM will find a person who has a lot of expertise in that product area to blog. Typically such IBM bloggers are senior engineers or scientists. Irving Wladawsky-Berger is one such person; his is IBM evangelist for Linux. Jim told me that with IBM, the title of the person is less important to the expertise of the individual who is blogging.

IBM’s approach really reminds me of Macromedia’s path, much more directed than say SUN’s or Microsoft’s. I think that each company develops a corporate blogging strategy that’s right for them.

If your company is thinking about using blogs to connect with customers, but you are nervous about using them externally, the IBM approach can help you to try out this new type of website internally before publishing many external blogs.

Posted by johncass at September 7, 2005 11:02 AM

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