Dale & Thomas Popcorn, a Teaneck, N.J., gourmet popcorn company, is seeking an online-marketing coordinator to create and maintain a company blog on the love of popcorn, among other tasks
That sounds very progressive of them, I thought, obviously a company with their finger on the pulse. The article goes on to say
Paul Goodman, senior vice president of ecommerce, says he hopes a blog will enhance customer relations and help boost the company Web site’s search-engine rankings.
Even better I thought, they realise that blogs are good for customer relations and that blogs are good for Search Engine Optimisation (Dale & Thomas Popcorn badly need some help on the SEO front – a Google search for Dale & Thomas Popcorn has the company website coming up in position 23!).
However, and you knew there was going to be a however, didn’t you? The article then continues on to ruin all their previous good noises with:
The blog will be subject to Mr. Goodman’s approval prior to publication, he notes: “This will not be an unauthorized blog.”
NO! No, no, no, no, no! You don’t get it at all.
Blogs are supposed to be conversational. They are supposed to be spur-of-the-moment, off the cuff, open, honest and revealing – that’s why so many people read blogs. If they are ‘subject to management approval’ – then they will be bland, safe, boring recycled press releases, which no-one will want to read. No benefit will accrue to the company and in six months time Dale & Thomas will be telling people “Blogs? Yeah, we tried them but they didn’t work for us.”
Compare the Dale & Thomas approach with that of Microsoft – according to Chapter two of Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s Naked Conversations
As of March 2004, there were more than 1500 active bloggers at Microsoft â€œLegal is still worryingâ€?, says Allen, but â€œuntil this day, we haven’t had anyone do something so incredibly stupid that it required a blogging policy and none has ever been issued.
Now, if Microsoft can have 1500 people blogging with no blogging policy issued, surely Dale & Thomas can manage a single blogger? Guys, let me give you a hint, if you hire the right person, you won’t have to be looking over their shoulder.
By the way, if Dale & Thomas really wanted to improve their Search Engine Optimisation, they should also:
- Put their text higher up on the Home Page and they need more of it (there is only a tiny amount of text on the home page and this appears after over 230 lines of code when you view the source! The text in the images is not readable by Search Engines)
- Develop a Linkage strategy – currently they have almost no inward linkage to their site and most importantly
- Get their site validating according to the W3c validator – currently the Home Page contains 43 code errors!
Hat tip to Gavin for pointing out the WSJ article.