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It's A Great Day For Blogtipping
In the spirit of appreciating and encouraging three of my favorite bloggers, I've decided to go blogtipping today.  (It's simple: just pick three bloggers you know and give each one three compliments and one tip.)

Jeremiah Owyang:
1 - I admire the speed at which you learn and adapt to change.
2 - You're great at holding my interest all the way to the end of each post.
3 - Your blog is simple, yet sophisticated in terms of both its design and its content.
Tip - Maybe you could put a "recent comments" list in the right-hand column, to go along with the "last posts" list.

Liz Strauss:
1 - Your blog is a super repository of blogging wisdom.
2 -  I like all the addictive links in your left-hand column.
3 - Love the SOB phenomenon.
Tip - Could you call me an SOB too :)?  I just want to hear you say it!

Trevor Cook:
1 - Your linkposts are always rich in high-caliber links
2 - You're not afraid of Amanda Chapel
3 - You provide a great window to the Australian blogosphere
Tip - Maybe post a tad more frequently - I only say so because I love to read what you have to say!

Happy blogtipping!  Pass it on if you're in the mood!
Corporate Blog Review: GM FYI Blog
pixoh_r7nj6d3f5.jpgHere's my quick and dirty review of General Motors' newest corporate blog, the FYI Blog:

What It Is: The FYI Blog is supposed to help people get to know the GM company culture better, by discussing corporate events.  The blog's authors are its employees of all ranks.

Why It Matters: Because GM is a giant company and many other companies are watching to see how successful its second corporate blog will be (the first GM corporate blog available to the public was the FastLane Blog).

Post Frequency: Judging from the FYI blog archives so far, it's about once every day or two (it's got six entries and it's about a week old).  With so many thousands of employees, GM should consider starting many more company blogs, or at least helping its employees post more often.

Blog Design: I'm not an expert, but it looks nice to me.  Nothing scary or flashy.  Offers permalinks, timestamps, comments and trackbacks.  The syndication (feed and email subscription) options are very basic, but they are there.  You wouldn't guess that this was a blog by one of the world's biggest companies, and maybe that's intentional.  There's a simple, straightforward blogroll.

Kudos: I really like that the categories have little icons associated with them.  It just makes the blog more comfortable and intuitive to visit and navigate.  The posts are friendly and the authors respond to visitor comments.

Suggestions: I wish you could easily contact the author of each post.  Right now, all you can see is the post author's name and position at GM.  Also, it just feels very bare - I wish there were a big GM employee blog network of sorts where you could see what employees all over the place were working on and talk to them online about their progress.

Bottom Line: I've only started to really examine the GM FYI Blog, but I think it has lots of promise, even though it's only a week old and has just six entries.  It'll be neat to see if anyone from GM is listening well enough to respond to this post - if you're there, I'd love to talk to you about your blog!  (Take me to your blogger - the one behind the curtain!)

What do you think of the General Motors FYI Blog?  What do you like or dislike about it?

3 Ways To Keep Your Business Blog From Turning Evil
Angel Praying.jpgPlease read yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer article by Jonathan Last on blogging.  Last states:

"The New Media in general, and blogs in particular, are concerned primarily with the meta (that is, commenting on commentary), which makes the blogosphere occasionally useful, often harmful, and ultimately pointless" (source).

Last defends the "Old Media" well by discounting the argument that blogging represents an evolutionary step forward in journalism and information dissemination.  His article also unwittingly contains some excellent advice for business bloggers.  Thanks for the inspiration, Jonathan!  Behold:

Three Ways To Keep Your Business Blog From Turning Evil

1. Blog more about your business than about your business blog.  Maybe your corporate blog is state-of-the-art.  That's great!  But most visitors won't care.  Keep the focus of the conversation on your business offerings.  An evil business blog talks about the blog more than about the business.

2. Learn to balance posting quality with quantity.  Strive to offer your readers the greatest amount and variety of information possible without skipping the fact-checking, spell-checking and ego-checking.  For most business blogs, I recommend at least two or three posts a week.  I say, if the posts are excellent, the more the merrier.  An evil business blog has too few relevant, informative posts - but there is no such thing as "too many."

3. Don't kill the conversation.  Offer comments and trackbacks, spam notwithstanding.  Ask your readers questions.  Make them feel important.  Respond to their comments.  Talk about them and their needs and wishes.  An evil business blog ignores people who care about the business.

There you have it!  Follow these three tips to corporate blogging sainthood.  Add your own tips for angelic business blog behavior below.
The Prague Post On The Impact Of Business Blogging
The Prague Post has a fine article by Katya Zapletnyuk on April 19 called "Blogs are Changing Corporate Communication."

The article mentions the blogging success of Ivo Lukačovič, founder of the Czech search engine Seznam.  Zapletnyuk correctly opines that a major part of corporate blogging's success comes from business bloggers adopting a less stiff, more open (and even sometimes downright informal) tone.

I don't know if I would say a good corporate blog has to be "gossipy," but certainly it should encourage multi-directional communication - between the blogger(s) and readers, and among the readers themselves.  That's where the beauty of collaborative communication really emerges.
Business Blog Links Of The Day - 4-19-06
I've got a couple weeks left in this semester of grad school, and it's hurting my ability to really flesh out these links into full-fledged posts.  But I really want you to take a look at them.

Martin Veitch of IT Week writes about the rewards and potential risks of corporate blogging.  He concludes, "Many more firms will ponder [blogging] this year. However, [...] conservative ways will often triumph over novelty among risk-averse firms."  So blog sensibly.

Auto maker giant GM has started up a new corporate blog called FYI Blog.  It looks promising.  Here's its "about" post.  Basically, it looks to be a more grass-roots blog as opposed to the top-down perspective of its "head honcho" blog, Fastlane.

Copyblogger explains why "you" and "because" are two very important words to use in your blog posts.

Mike Sigers offers his thoughts on how bloggers can make more money.

Lastly, the Online Journalism Review has a splendid article by Robert Niles on a journalist-blogger hybrid named Michael Hiltzik (a columnist/blogger for the L.A. Times), and how Hiltzik copes!

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