Mainstream blogs slow down as corporate blogs take off
Technorati's latest "State of the Blogosphere" report showed that of the total 57 million blogs that it is tracking, nearly 3 million blogs were launched from July through September. The daily average of 100,000 new sites created per day is slightly lower than the 160,000 peak in June.
In response, Technorati rationalized that the decrease is not a manifestation of the maturity of the blogosphere but instead reflects the blog tracking system's increasing accuracy in detecting and weeding out splogs (spam blogs or fake blogs).
On the global blog scene, English and Japanese remain the two most popular languages in use, with Chinese postings dipping by 10%. (Also interesting to note how much blogging goes on during work hours in the US – and after office hours in China and Japan .)
Although traditional media sites (i.e. New York Times, CNN, etc.) continue to dominate the top 100 sites, blogs have essentially taken over once you go down to the top 500 list. This had led corporations to realize that blogging offers a viable, focused and cost-efficient means of corporate messaging. According to a research, 40 (or 8%) of the Fortune 500 companies (i.e. Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Intel) are blogging as of October 2006, double the number (18) in January 2006. VeriSign is among one of the frontrunners to have created its own blog, featuring thought leaders in the field of IT and engineering.
Microsoft, which also joined the blogging bandwagon, claimed the improved company image that the corporate blog has brought in could easily be translated to millions of dollars worth of PR savings.
The exponential benefits of corporate blogging can be attributed to the openness of a company to be criticized and to listen to the end customer. In return, corporations develop a closer relationship with customers, secure their loyalty and build a community of followers. In the end, a truly successful blog is not one which is polished and scripted by PR professionals but one which imparts a genuine emotional connection – “where the brand is owned not just by the people who create it, but by the people who use it.”