Archive for “October, 2006”

Toronto Star: Blogging Good for Business – sort of

There’s an article in today’s Toronto Star that I would like to claim a bit of responsibilty for. As it happens, I emailed the reporter in question regarding the apparent disconnect between the Environics numbers recently released and an earlier Ipsos-Reid poll on the number of Canadians blogging. She called back and we had a nice chat on the phone about blogging. The result?

Depending on whose figures you believe, somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent of adult Internet users in Canada have read at least one blog in recent months.

(I know it’s not much – but I had to run to a client meeting and she was going to call me for a follow-up quote, which sadly never happened).

But I digress. I would also like to add to the above figure the 67.9% internet usage rate in Canada (21-odd million people). So that basically translates into almost one third of all Canadians having read a blog at some point. That’s a pretty steep adoption curve.

In the article was also quoted Bruce MacLellan, president of Environics Communications. Bruce and his firm have been hired to monitor the blogosphere on behalf of one of his clients, and he says

You need to know how blogging is changing your reputation and the way people get information about your products and services.

Bruce? I posted critically about those Environics blogging numbers seven days ago. Not one person from your firm visited this blog after having searched on the word “environics” (though someone from a rival PR firm in New York City did). Just so you know.

Venture Capitalist: Marketers Should be Paying Attention to Social Media

This case of “putting your money where your mouth is” from Podtech:

Keith Benjamin, managing director of Levensohn Venture Partners speaks candidly about today’s average consumer’s social and buying habits and how they are affecting his investment strategy. Benjamin explains why marketers should be considering the impact of social media on their marketing strategy and programs

You can download and/or listen to the podcast here.

Getting blogging religion

This is a little bit of old news, but IBM has added enterprise blogging capability to Lotus Notes.

In Lotus Notes and Domino Version 7.0.2, an update IBM announced [Oct 11th], the company has added the ability to install log templates on the Domino database. With them, enterprise employees can create, design and update Web logs working within Notes.

A week later, on Oct 19th, Microsoft announced the release of Windows Live Writer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, pron. “wizzy-wig”) blog post authoring tool that lets you see what your post looks like as you edit. Which actually sounds pretty handy.

Interesting that all these Fortune 500 companies are spending millions on R&D to get into the market – smaller firms doubtful about the value of social media would be wise to take note.

Thanks, PR meets the WWW!

For kindly including us in your global list of PR & Communication Blogs.

Constantin Basturea runs an excellent outfit over at PR Meets the WWW; it was a major source of detailed information in the whole Edelman/Wal-Mart Flog Fiasco (please note how the name of this PR disaster has slowly morphed into “Edelman…” this is definitely a case of the PR agency getting the worst of the bad PR. The latest is that AdWeek covered the story and also Shel Holtz admonished the blogosphere to Stop Harshing Edelman’s Groove, which frankly I agree with. It’s all starting to feel a little dogmatic to me. Dude apologized. Let’s move on.)

"New" Environics Poll Confuses Me

I just got wind of this story, which is essentially a re-hash of two Environics polls [tres ugly website, BTW], one conducted in early October, the other in July. The jist of it is this:

One third, or 32 per cent, of online Canadians have read a blog in the last three months. B.C. is the most active blog market with 42 per cent stating they check out blogs while Quebec remains at the back of the pack at 28 per cent.

Incidentally, Canadian youth seem to be leading the way; 51% have read a blog and almost a quarter actually write one themselves (no word on what exactly constitutes a “youth”).

Anyway, that’s not what’s confusing me. What is? Well, some research I recently read at competing Canadian pollmeister Ipsos-Reid. The contrast is rather dramatic (all numbers refer to people with internet access):

42% of all online Canadians have read a blog at least once
44% of Canadians with household incomes of $60,000 or more have read blogs
48% of Canadian men say they have read a blog at least once vs. 35% of women
50% of Canadian adults aged 18-34 have read a blog at least once
45% of Canadians with post secondary education have read blogs

So, uh, what’s up, Environics?

Update: The Toronto Star picked up the Environics story October 25th.

Google's blogging woes – completely un-newsworthy

Under the rather strident and alarming headine, “Google’s Blogging Woes Continue”, I read with complete disinterest this story about a Google staffer who (gasp!) mistakenly posted something to Blogger Buzz instead of her own blog!

On Tuesday, two postings about skull-shaped candies appeared on Blogger Buzz, the official blog of this Google blog publishing service. Their topic and informal tone immediately led readers to wonder about their legitimacy.

I am serious. This, apparently is news. And bad news at that.

I don’t think so. This is an employee making a mistake no more grave than accidentally cc’ing someone on an email about the upcoming office Hallowe’en party when they’re not on the planning committee. This is so not news – and so not a problem for Google.

Blogging HR

Interesting report yesterday from the ERE/Inside Recuiting blog/website. They polled their audience (mostly HR professionals) and the #1 thing that these pros say is missing on most company websites?

31% say accurate information about what a candidate would do in the job is the most-lacking element.

A number of HR professionals who are using corporate blogs also piped up, noting that they’ve found them a very effective method of connecting with potential candidates, which is key considering that

25% [say company sites] lack a compelling reason to work there in the first place.

It’s important to remember that blogs can be used for more than connecting with your “end user”, or customer. They’re a great way of reaching out and touching any and all of your business audiences – inside or outside.

MySpace: not just for teenagers anymore

South of the border, the 2008 Presidential race is already being called the MySpace Election, which prompts me to point out an interesting factoid: according to a report on the Media Week website, 68% of the 55 million MySpace users are 25 or older. (While I don’t doubt the veracity of that data, supplied by comScore Media Metrics, I do question the author’s use of the term “contrasty” – I don’t think that’s an actual word.)

What does this mean? Well, mostly that people over 25 with similar interests also enjoy socializing with one another, and social networking sites that enable this will therefore be used by them. Not terribly complicated, really.