The Social Networking Advantage
Curt Monash – leading analyst and author of “The Explosion in DBMS Choice,” my company’s latest sponsored white paper – pointed me to an online discussion he did yesterday over at NetworkWorld in which he gives his take on using social media/networking as a business advantage rather than viewing it, as so many companies do, as simply a waste of time.
His discussion veered toward his opinion that blogs are far more important than social networks like Facebook and MySpace, even going so far as to say, “If the latter are useful at all, they’re for faddish things like rock bands.” On the importance of blogs, Curt makes comments throughout the discussion, including the ones below.
Can you cite some examples where Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites were used to build business?
As far as I’m concerned, blogging is by far the most important aspect of social networking. It lets me communicate however I want, on whatever schedule I want. It rocks. It’s pretty much the only way I market, so I can say that a huge fraction of my revenue is derived from blogging.
How do blogs fit into a typical enterprise’s online strategy and how *should* they fit in?
Blogs serve at least two – only somewhat overlapping – purposes:
A. The constantly-hyped one of “participating in the conversation.”
B. As a simple flexible platform for publishing what you want, when you want, in the tone you want.
Enterprises constantly overlook B, because they’re too intimidated by what they’ve been told about the “right” and “wrong” ways to blog. In particular, the way IT vendors and many other kinds of companies tell customer stories is stilted and broken, and blogs offer a way out that almost nobody seizes.
Why is it a mistake for companies not to own their own blog software? Doesn’t it make more sense to use the many blogging options already available?
WordPress is a fine choice of software. Indeed, it’s better software than you’ll find on any general site, including WordPress.com itself. More to the point, you brand your URL. So you should own and control the URL.
I recommend that you take the time to read the entire discussion, entitled Making Friends with Twitter, Forums, and Blogs. Curt is an expert analyst when it comes to information technology, especially in the database sector, but he clearly has a wide knowledge of the Internet, and marketing within it.