The Meta Post: Effective Blogs from Successful Companies

Sometimes when writing for blogs like this, I find myself asking “How would X write this?” or “What would the readers want X to say?” It’s no secret that the information we post on the internet directly effects how people think and feel about us. Naturally this leads us to want to post the best information we can and do so in a way that makes us seem positive, intelligent, and rational.

Companies that use blogs to communicate face the same pressures, but we the added constraint of the business’s reputation and potential profitability being placed on the line. Knowing this, companies that blog have found a great way to balance a solid informal blog that also presents the company as being successful and a place their customers want to keep doing business with.

So let’s put two highly successful companies on the spot and observe what it is that they are posting on their blogs and how the readers react. We should also notice if there is a trend to blog posts and see what members of the company are posting.  Finally we should take note on the visual appearance of the blog and if it influences the reader’s interaction with the blog.

To start off, we’ll take a look at Facebook’s Official Blog, which can be found at http://blog.facebook.com/.   As of this posting, the front page of the Facebook blog is covered by posts announcing new features that are being implementing into Facebook and posts discussing some the impacts involved with usage of Facebook.  The blog also makes sure you can clearly see feedback from users about the blog, including a widget that shows the “Most Popular Stories” from the blog. The most popular post as of this posting is discussing additions to Facebook’s Timeline feature. This post has over 35,000 likes and almost 40,000 comments with over 1500 shares.

Facebook as a company is well represented by the various posts, with posts by development team to posts from the CEO. All in all, the Facebook blog leaves me with the impression of company that wants to proudly share its work with its members as well ensure the members continue to enjoy their experience.

Our second entrant is Google’s Official blog, which can be found at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/. There is a huge contrast between this blog and Facebook’s. Notably is moving graphic that is found in the upper right side of the page, which responds to mouseovers. Also, we see a different tone than that of Facebook’s, in that this blog seems to be more focused on its content rather than its reception by readers. The posts vary in topic from information about Google products to stories about endeavors the company has taken part in.

Again, like Facebook, Google has varying departments that contribute to the blog, from engineers to corporate members. The impression I get from reading Google’s blog is that of a company that prides itself on the sharing of knowledge and educating its readers.

Hopefully through this all too brief post, I have shared just a bit of insight into how companies utilize blogs and the internet to promote themselves. Though I cannot speak for either company, I believe having these sources of information available to their customers is greatly helping their businesses succeed.

By Alex Colson, CNIT Major Purdue University

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