From eCommerce Guide
The tried-and-true marketing and PR departments may one day make the endangered species list, thanks to a rush of business interest in blogs and RSS feeds.
Weblogging — or blogging — is taking social networking to new heights. And with the improvements to the technology, personal journals are now supplying tens of millions of bits of information every day. Now business is looking to leverage the trend, with even multi-million dollar corporations looking for cheap and effective ways of getting their message out are using the technology to their advantage.
While it is difficult to calculate exactly how many individuals are using Web sites as journals, Blog Census estimates that there are roughly 2.1 million likely Weblogs, with at least half of them in English. This is certainly an opportunity for the online marketer to consider.
How can your e-commerce business tap into blogs? Even if you’re a small operation, consider the ways that they’re being used effectively by large corporations.
For example, some of the major IT players have all their hats in the ring early. One of the largest projects is Microsoft’s Channel 9. Launched in April, the community was built in two to three weeks and includes text, video and a collaboration site, or wiki . All are used to humanize Microsoft.
In some cases, blogs are used to connect special classes of users — such as customers, affiliates, developers, or partners. For example, HP sponsors a blog for its HP labs engineers.
Dell has a company-sponsored Linux blog. And Web graphics software maker Macromedia keeps its developers informed through a series of feeds.
“Companies can take advantage of this technology to build that direct line of communication to multiple groups, such as consumers, suppliers, investors, etc.,” said Matthew Bailey, Web marketing director with the Karcher Group. “Taking advantage of this direct line of communication can help a company appear to be ‘in touch’ and directly concerned with the readers.
Sun has also tapped into its sales channels through its blogs. Using blogs during the company’s recent JavaOne conference, Sun executives promoted an auction on eBay that centered on a dozen
Opteron-based workstations, which had yet to be revealed or advertised.