Thursday, November 02, 2006

Blogging Success Study Released!

It's been a long time in the works, but finally released!

John Cass (Backbone Media) and I conducted a research study with my class in Advanced Organzational Communication (Spring 2006) on what makes for a successful blog. We identified a number of best practices and also five themes that cut across all the interviews:

Culture: If a company has particular cultural traits worth revealing or a bad reputation it wants to repudiate, blogging can be an attractive option.
Transparency: Critical to establishing credibility and trust with an audience. People want to see an honest portrayal of a company and know that there are not ulterior motives behind the blog. Blog audiences respect a willingness to disclose all points of view on a subject.
Time: It takes a lot of time to set up, research and write a quality blog. Companies need to identify a person who has the time or whose schedule is freed up to make the time, or need to engage a group of people to share the responsibility.
Dialogue: A company’s ability and willingness to engage in a dialogue with their customer base about topics that the customer base is interested in is critical to its blogging success.
Entertaining writing style and personalization: A blogger’s writing style and how much they are willing to reveal about their life, experience and opinions brings human interest to a blog, helps build a personal connection with readers and will keep people reading.
You can download the study as a PDF (name/e-mail registration required) or read it online. The online report takes the form of a blog so that people can comment on individual sections and is hosted on the Scout blogging server.

Be sure to check out the summaries of the interviews with each blogger to learn more detail about each blogger's experience.

Thanks so much to all the bloggers who agreed to participate in the study, the students in my class who did the interviews, and the folks from Backbone Media (John Cass, Stephen Turcotte, Megan Dickinson, Kristine Munroe and Dave Alpert).

Northeastern University Press Release