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Sep 6
Fortune 500 Corporate Blog Review Series: Introduction
Have you ever read or studied a Fortune 500 corporate blog?  Would you like to learn more about business blogs run by big, big companies?  Want me to do the dirty work while you sit back, relax and enjoy the analysis?


Over the next few weeks, I plan to conduct a thorough blog-by-blog review of public-facing blogs operated by Fortune 500 companies.  Having done some detailed corporate blog reviews before, I think an in-depth inquiry of F500 blogs will help us all to understand big-time business blogging better (cha-ching, 10 points for alliteration).

So here goes.  I found links to some Fortune 500 blogs via the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki.  I plan to review them one by one right here at Business Blog Wire.  Along the way we can talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each corporate blog and glean lessons for our own business blogging efforts.  Of course that wiki isn't necessarily comprehensive, so let me know if you've found a blog that isn't listed there but should be.

As I prepare for my first Fortune 500 corporate blog breakdown, I invite you to share your questions with me.  What are you most interested to learn?

Here are my key questions going into this study:

1. Quality - Out of all the Fortune 500 companies with public-facing corporate blogs, who's got the best blog or set of blogs?  What does "best" mean in this context?

2. Uniqueness - How do Fortune 500 company blogs differ from non-Fortune 500 company blogs?

3. Quantity - How many public-facing (external), official Fortune 500 corporate blogs are there?

4. Relevance - Is the Fortune 500 a useful barometer in terms of telling us how quickly businesses of all sizes are turning to blogs for various purposes?

5. Identity - Who's writing F500 blogs anyway?  Is it senior executives or low-level employees?  Are these mostly team blogs or individual blogs?  Any ghost writers we can personally identify?  (Kidding, kidding!  Although my curiosity is definitely piqued.)

6. Format - How often are these blogs updated? What are their designs like?  Are they registered with Technorati and other blog search engines?  Do they allow comments and/or trackbacks?  What kind of blog bling (read: fancy-pants buttons and sidebar gizmos) do they have?

7. Impact - Who reads them and why?  How important are these big biz blogs?  Why hasn't anyone scoured and publicly evaluated them as a collective yet?

8. Wild Card - How come the HP corporate blog portal has such a crazy URL?  Does Intel really have a corporate blog?  What about General Mills?  Does Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum count?  (Does that really matter?)  And so on and so forth.

Fortune 500 Corporate Blog SeriesI look forward to doing this series and hope we can all benefit from it.  Any help, encouragement or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

(The image at right links to a Wikipedia list of Fortune 500 companies and calls to mind the metaphorical 800-pound gorilla, as well as just me thinking really hard.)

12 Comments/Trackbacks

Hi, Easton ...

ContentRobot developed a blog for the Timex Corporation, which launched this summer. The blog features their Timex-sponsored athletes, so a bit of a different twist on a corporate blog.

Check it out at http://teamtimex.timexblogs.com

Hope you would have great things to say about our efforts!


Thanks for telling me about that blog, Karen! I'll check it out more closely as soon as possible.

This promises to be exciting. Count on me to read your analysis and share my own thoughts.

Hi Easton -

As I hope you saw in my post on EXCELER8ion as well as in the coverage on Recruiting.com - I would love to collaborate with you on this project!

As you review the business side of the F500 blogs (or lack their of) - I will take a look at the recruiting side (i.e. are they using their blog if they have one to attract talent? Are their employees blogging?)

I will get to work looking for any coverage about working for ExxonMobile in the blogosphere now.

What do you think? And thanks for doing this! :-)


Sounds like a great plan, Shannon. I know that studying ALL 500 companies might be counterproductive - then again, maybe not - but I at least plan to go through the biggest ones and the ones that the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki claims as having corporate blogs. And then form some conclusions (such as that a lot of these blogs are poor-quality and lacking in conversation, but that they seem to be improving as a collective, etc.).

You may want to take a look at sites such as CollegeRecruiter.com where a dozen or so Fortune 500 and other employers are blogging to help them reach the built-in audience that we already have. You can see the list at http://www.CollegeRecruiter.com/employersblog/ and then scroll all the way to the bottom right corner. Organizations like CVS, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Volt, and Williams Sonoma are all blogging and we're talking with dozens more. Some are posting original entries and some are crossposting entries from their main blogs to our employer blog to help them hit a larger audience.

I see two primary advantages to them blogging on a career site like CollegeRecruiter.com:

1. If they do not have time to blog virtually every day, then their own blog will look inactive and probably do them more harm than good. But if they blog on our site even occasionally, they're adding to the conversation so even an occasional entry will be a positive for them.

2. We can deliver a much larger, targeted audience to them than they could on their own. Too many good blogs suffer from a lack of traffic because they're not well connected with other blogs. That's very time consuming and requires someone who is pretty savvy at Internet marketing. Those blogs are like trees falling in forests: if no one is there to read the blog, does it really exist?

Great comment and very helpful, Steven. I appreciate the visit. I would consider what you described as corporate blogging in a way - it's corporations blogging, even if they're not necessarily starting their own "offical company x" blogs. Again, thank you for telling me about this!

Steven & Easton:

I am actually looking for all use of 'social media' by these corporations or even employees of the corporations. So if I find that companies are using CollegeRecruiter.com's employer's blogs as an outlet or that employees are adding to Jobster's 'Inside Scoop" features that will count as participating as utilizing social media in my book.
Let me know of any other outlets that you think I should be considering from the corporate use of social media for recruiting perspective.

Nice project - will do, Shannon.

I would be careful about using the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki as your main source. It might be a little outdated. The Yahoo blog they had listed was one of their product blogs and not their main corporate blog. I updated it though. It seems like there have not been any major revisions to the page for a while besides the one I just did.

A decent source for corporate blogs is Google Finance. When you type in the ticker, they typically will provide a link to the company's blog if there is one.

But I wouldnt trust this too much either.

Justin, thanks for your concern. My wording above wasn't very clear when I said, "I found links to some Fortune 500 blogs via the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki. I plan to review them one by one." Sorry about that. I wasn't trying to say that I was going to limit myself to the F500 BBWiki as my primary source or starting point - I just meant that I plan to review all the blogs it lists *during* the series. Hopefully I'll uncover inaccuracies (or prove accuracies in that wiki, which (you are right) hasn't been kept up-to-date.

I've actually just started from the number 1 Fortune 500 co, ExxonMobil, and started moving down that list. I might start skipping some numbers later, but my main purpose is to just look at a lot of F500 companies and see what their blogs are like (or find out they don't have any!).

Google Finance, eh? Great idea. So far I've mainly been using Google and Technorati to find these corporate blogs. Nice suggestion, Justin.

Justin - check out this Google search for mentions of "official blog" at Google Finance. Genius! Thanks for the inspiration.

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