Donnerstag, 9. September 2010

Social Software - An Enterprise Perspective - Part 2: SWOT Analysis of Blogs

In “Social Software - An Enterprise Perspective - Part 1: SWOT Analysis of Wikis” we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of wikis. Now we will go on with part 2, the SWOT analysis of weblogs.

History & Definition

The term “weblog” was introduced by Jorn Barger in 1997. In 1999 Peter Merholz created the term “blog” by breaking the original word weblog. The origins of blogs can be seen in early tools like early e-mail-lists and internet-forum-software. In the early beginnings, people used their blogs more or less like a diary. Today though, blogs are a popular tool for different types of corporate communication strategies.
The main characteristics of weblogs are, that content is frequently updated and that it’s intended for general public consumption. Blogs are easy-to-publish and are written in an informal, conversational style, while content is listed in chronological order with recent posts on top.

General Types of Blogs

  • Personal Blogs: include topics like music, family, travel, health or politics etc. The blogger is blogging about topics and interests of his private life.
  • Educational Blogs: Blogs with an educational approach.

Types of Blogs within Organizations

  • Individual Blogs: these blogs are mostly used for personal knowledge management.
  • Group Blogs: these blogs are used for networking by experts with the aim of collective knowledge generation and management.
  • Corporate Blogs: these blogs can be classified in internal and external blogs.
    • Internal Corporate Blogs: these blogs are used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a company.Also used for projects, knowledge and organization management.
    • External Corporate Blogs: are most used for marketing, branding or PR purposes. The aim is to build a relationship with customers.

Additional forms of blogs are CEO Blogs. They are written from a member of the top-management or the CEO himself. They tend to have a strict business reference and are often used as a personalized representation of the company.

Operational Areas

Today many companies use blogs within their marketing strategy to communicate directly with their customers leaving out the typical marketing speech. This way blogs can be used as a base for a company’s social media strategy. 

As weblogs are dialog- and community oriented personal publication instruments, they can be seen as a tool for identity, relation and information management. Parts of the identity are details of the author, the bloggers topic, and personal spelling style and publication rhythm. Relations are provided through the possibility of networking tools like comment functions, blogrolls and trackbacks. Information is generated by the content, links, documents, storage and classification. All together, these are components for an active and efficient information management.

But again, what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of corporate based blogs?

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis shows the most improtant facts of blogs in a corporate environment

  If you have any comments or any additional information to share please feel free to do so as we are always interested in ongoing discussions.

Further Readings


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