Here is an interesting study on business blogging by Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson. Titled, Thinking Like A Blogger: Is Blogging An Attitude That Can Be Taught?, it reports on a survey they did of 80 bloggers who are actively involved in business blogging. I was one of the respondents and there were others with greater traffic such as like Shel Israel (Naked Conversations), John Winsor (Beyond the Brand), David Carter (iUpload) and Hugh MacLeod (GapingVoid). The report can be found at the Journal of New Communications Research site.
The authors concluded that “In the final analysis, blogging is more than posts, links, comments and feeds. Instead, it represents an attitude for interacting with employees, customers and communities. Perhaps it is not so much about having a blog as it is about thinking like a blogger…” So what does this mean?
First, they found that blogs are popular because they provide useful content, often not found elsewhere and written in an accessible style. Blogs cannot sound like PR. Blogs are also popular because they can stat conversations through links and comments.
Almost all bloggers felt that blogging can be described as an attitude, generally one of openness and the willingness to communication in an engaging, sometimes irreverent manner. The majority of bloggers (58%) surveyed felt that the attitude toward blogging and the activity are inseparable and co-dependent. Over two thirds of those surveyed felt that this attitude can be taught to non-bloggers.
It was interesting to see that some felt that a blog will be necessary for a business to be effective in the next few years. Others felt that it will be necessary to adopt the attitude of a blogger (honest, authentic, transparent, two-way) regardless of the medium and this was more important that using a blog a tool. I would agree with the second group. They concluded that most felt that,” blogs might be helpful but they are not required. Instead, one should focus on making all of one’s communications more human, conversational and transparent.“ I think this is a good contribution to the understanding business blogging and I was glad to be able to participate.