Thursday, March 16, 2006

Student Questions About Corporate Blogging

For this past Tuesday's class students read the 95 Theses from the Cluetrain Manifesto and the Edelman/Intelliseek report "Talking from the Inside Out: The Rise of Employee Bloggers."

When students came to class I asked them to take out a blank sheet of paper and write down any questions they had about corporate blogging, either from the readings or anything else they wanted to know. We discussed a number of those questions in class, related to: the different types of corporate blogs, uses of corporate blogs, and how blogging might affect their career paths.

They also had a number of questions that we didn't have time to discuss so I told them we would could discuss them on Friday when John Cass from Backbone Media guest lectures on his study "Corporate Blogging: Is It Worth the Hype?"

I would also invite anyone in the blogosphere to offer their perspective on these questions as well. In having such a dialogue I hope we can address some of the so-called "Blog Anemia in Academica" ;-)**

Here are the questions we didn't get a chance to discuss:

- Who reads corporate blogs? What do we know about the audience of a specific corporate blog? How can you find out this information?

- How do you market a corporate blog? Is there anything special a company should do?

- For companies who have fired corporate bloggers (like Google, Friendster, Delta, Waterstone's, etc.) how are they managing corporate blogging now? For example, what is the status of the legal cases? What are their new policies or guidelines?

- How do blogs by executives compare to blogs from employees at lower levels in the hierarchy? Are they similar or different in terms of content, style, etc.?

- What are the societal effects of corporate blogs? Specifically, what is the relationship between corporate blogging and the "digital divide," if any?

- How are some of the practical issues of blogs managed? For example, does the phenomenon of information overload that applies to e-mail also apply to corporate blogging?

- What were the effects of the Cluetrain Manifesto on corporate blogging?

** If people are interested in blogging and academia be sure to check out the 2003 Chronicle of Higher Education article on "Scholars who blog", the "scholar bloggers" at Crooked Timber, and the 2006 HigherEdBlogCon conference.

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