Tag: blogs

Is there even a short-term gain for Viacom here?

Much has been said about the fact that Viacom are suing Google for $1bn because YouTube (now owned by Google) hosted Viacom copyrighted shows.

Technically, Viacom are well within their rights to sue Google for this copyright infringement but what good does it do Viacom, apart from adding up to $1bn to their bottom line, if they win?

They will have lost massive goodwill and a ton of free PR! How much traffic was YouTube sending to Viacom and how much free publicity were Viacom shows receiving by being featured on YouTube?

Robert Scoble, speaking on this topic the other day said:

PodTech tried that strategy. To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?

Traffic tripled.

Traffic tripled.

PodTech, by allowing people to place in their blogs PodTech’s copyrighted videos, tripled their audience.

Viacom on the other hand have forced YouTube to take down Viacom’s copyrighted videos and are suing YouTube.

Is there even a short-term gain for Viacom here?

Arguments against business blogging?

A couple of commenters on a recent post raised issues I hear time and again when I discuss the advantages of blogs for businesses:

  1. Blogging has a poor perception
  2. Blogging takes too much time
  3. Blogging allows people to make negative comments on your site

Let’s deal with each of these points:

1. Blogging has a poor perception

Unfortunately this is still very much the case. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard variations on the “Blogging is something done by lonely teenagers in their bedroom…” line.

The fact of the matter is that, yes, blogging is something done by lonely teenagers in their bedrooms. Then again, phone calls are also done by lonely teenagers in their bedroom, that doesn’t take from the fact that the phone is a fabulous communications tool.

Similarly, a blog is one of the most effective communications tools yet created. Blogs are now used as part of the communications toolset internally and/or externally by many of the Fortune 500 companies.

2. Blogging takes too much time
This one is harder to refute. Yes, blogging does take a significant amount of time.

Having said that, Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems blogs regularly. Sun is a fortune 500 company. If the President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company can find time to blog, so can you.

But wait, Sun is a technology company, you say, he has a greater need to blog. Rubbish!

Look then at Michel-Edouard Leclerc. Who? Michel is CEO of the Leclerc distribution group in France, a multi-billion euro company with 85,000 employees. Leclerc finds time to blog regularly.

Look at Margot Wallstrom, vice president of the European Commission who also finds time to blog regularly.

Look at Mark Cuban, an American entrepreneur and billionaire. Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team; and Chairman of HDNet, an HDTV cable network. Mark is a regular blogger.

In fact here is a list of other high profile CEO bloggers – and the number is growing daily.

3. Blogging allows people to make negative comments on your site
Yes it does, and this is a good thing!

If people are going to say something bad about your company/product/service, they will say it whether you have a blog or not. However, if they say it on your blog, you get to see it immediately and you get to respond to it quickly.

If your blog has built up a readership, there is a strong chance that one of your readers will jump in and answer on your behalf. This looks even better, especially if the person leaving the negative comment was incorrect in their assertion or was trolling.

On the other hand, if the person leaving the negative comment is correct in what they say, you get a chance to shine with respect to your customer service. You respond by thanking them for their feedback and making you aware of this shortcoming on the part of your product/service (if you were previously unaware of it, then you have just received very valuable market research).

You could ask the commenter if they would like to be involved in the issue resolution process because they obviously have something valuable to contribute.

Suddenly, you have turned a negative situation around into a positive one.

A former boss of mine used to say that a customer who had a complaint which was handled well was going to be a far more loyal customer than one who never had any complaint.

Negative comments are great. They give you free market research on your products, they give you a chance to shine as a customer champion and by publishing them on your site, you are showing that you are fully transparent and that you can embrace criticism.

What other arguments are there against business blogging?

Blogs fuel internet growth

Netcraft have posted their November 2006 Web Server Survey and there are a couple of interesting findings.

The main one is that the number of websites has exceeded 100m for the first time ever.

In the November 2006 survey we received responses from 101,435,253 sites, up from 97.9 million sites last month.

Of those 100m sites 27.4m were added this year alone! In fact, according to Netcraft, the Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when it reached 50m sites.

Netcraft credits blogs with helping this growth:

Blogs and small business web sites have driven the explosive growth this year, with huge increases at free blogging services at Google and Microsoft.

Les Blogs 3 registration now open

Loic has announced the opening of the registration for Les Blogs 3. It is on in Paris on Dec 11th and 12th, and costs €300 (excl VAT) if you register before November 11th.

The event has been renamed Le Web 3 to better reflect the broader focus on Live Web applications and not just Blogs this year.

Le Web 3 has its own website and you can register to attend online.

Having attended last years Les Blogs 2, I can strongly recommend attending Le Web 3.

Last night's blogger's dinner

Cork Bloggers Dinner

Last night’s blogger’s dinner was a great success – thanks to Pat for organising (and paying for) it.

Shel Israel and Rick Segal were the guests of honour and both had lots of interesting info to impart. Rick talked up MusicIP – I missed the start of the conversation but I assume MusicIP is a company he has invested in. MusicIP scans your music (Windows, Linux, Mac) and creates playlists for you based on your mood!!! amongst other things.

Little did I realise when I first started conversing with Shel last year that I’d convince him to come to Cork twice this year (first for the it@cork Web 2.0 conference and now for his global tour) – it just goes to show the power of blogs as a networking tool!

Shemas Eivers – Blogs and search engine optimisation (SEO)

Shemas Eivers is the MD of Client Solutions and he was at a meeting I also attended recently. Shemas was asking about tools for SEO and when I replied that blogs are the most powerful tool I know of for increasing SEO, Shemas didn’t seem to believe me. Fair enough.

Shemas this post is for you!

Why are blogs so good at increasing a website’s SEO?

  • Every blog post has its own url (so each post can be linked to individually – this leads to increased inward linkage)
  • Search engines love content and a blog encourage the constant addition of content to a site
  • Search engines love fresh content and blogs promote that too
  • A blog, if named (blog title, sub-head, and posts) configured properly (short permalinks) can own a particular key word/phrase for all search engines
  • Search engines love links (inward or outward) and blogs with their blogrolls, links within posts and discussions promote that lots of linkage

There are plenty more good reasons why blogs punch way above their weight when it comes to search engines – please feel free to add more in the comments.

Shemas, if you do a Google search for Shemas Eivers right now, why do you think the top ranking sites are blogs?

IT@Cork Web 2.0 conference talks podcast

I finally got around to putting up the talks from the IT@Cork Web 2.0 Conference!

Shel Israel led off the talks at the IT@Cork Web 2.0 conference with a great introduction to blogs and social media – drawing very much on his experience co-authoring a book on business blogging called Naked Conversations called Naked Conversations with Robert Scoble. Shel’s talk is here.

Salim Ismail was next up. Salim was a powerhouse of knowledge and ideas. His talk concentrated on uses for Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise and if you ever want to see a room full of jaws drop simultaneously, go to hear Salim give a talk. He is an extremely accomplished communicator, deftly making the most complex of ideas readily accessible. Salim’s talk is here.

Third up was Fergus Burns who spoke knowledgeably on the topic close to everyone’s heart – starting a Web 2.0 business in Ireland! Fergus’ talk is here.

Walter Higgins was the fourth speaker up. Walter has a Web 2.0 application called pxn8. Pxn8 is an online photo editing application. Walter showed how pxn8 has been developed using free development environments. Walter’s talk is here.

Finally Rob Burke from Microsoft Ireland gave us a demo we are not likely to forget for a long time – he live developed a web 2.0 app using Atlas on a laptop running Office 12 beta and Vista beta! And it didn’t crash once. The demo Gods were really smiling on him that day! Rob’s demo is here and is followed by the question and answer session between the panel and the audience.

Salim Ismail interview coming up

I will be interviewing Salim Ismail, chairman & co-founder of PubSub in the next couple of days. Pubsub is a blog search engine or as Salim likes to say a “matching engine”.

I was amazed to learn, from talking to Salim here at the les Blogs 2.0 conference, that Salim lived and worked in Cork for around a year and Salim is another fan of Murphy’s stout!

If you have any questions you’d like me to ask Salim – please leave them in the comments