Just finished reading a couple of good books about blogging, each aimed at different audiences, and each with something valuable to offer. “Blogging for Business” explains how and why blogs are popular and why a business might consider blogging as part of its communication strategy. “Best of Blogs” shows how business blogs and entertainment blogs have been put into practice. It offers thumbnail reviews of almost 500 well-done blogs, in categories ranging from parenting to travel, from music to politics.
Communicators in education should have little trouble finding useful ideas in either book.
Blogging for Business (companion site: www.bloggingforbusinessbook.com) offers a number of bon mots, including “Blogging is every bit as much about listening as it is about posting” (p. 106). A major point of emhpasis: “The best business blogs were implemented in support of some business goal. Determining the kind of blogs you might consider begins with a review of your goals and issues in order to identify where your opportunities may lie. One kind of blog you should never launch is the “let’s launch a blog” blog. Any company blog should be viewed as a part of the company’s communication strategy.” (p. 22)
“Blogging for Business” analyzes the blogging phenomenon and shows how a business can take advantage of the power of blogging. It’s aimed at the person who will be responsible for a company’s blogging strategy, the person who want to start a business blog, and the person who needs to understand the impact of blogs on an organization.
Coauthor Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communications + Technology and cohosts the popular business/PR podcast “For Immediate Release.” Ted Demopoulos is a consultant who blogs about on information technology, security, and business at “The Ted Rap.” Shel and Ted share their rich business experience and technical knowledge in a crisp, lively style.
Chapter topics include Business uses of blogs, Monitoring and tapping into the blogosphere, How to make money with blogs, Planning and promoting your blog, Using search engines to promote your blog, and Measuring the results of your blog, among others.
Blogosphere: Best of Blogs (companion site: http://www.blogsbestof.com/) aims to help the general reader explore the world of blogs. “We’ve designed this book to help you find the blogs that interest you the most, not necessarily the blogs that are the best written, most influential, or most widely read,” writes coauthor Peter Kuhns, a published computer book author, photo-blogger, and publishing consultant, and Adrienne Crew, a blogger and licensing professional who coedits Laist.com, a group blog from Los Angeles.
They write for the beginning-to-intermediate-level user, and from the standpoint that “the strength of blogs is information delivery, not topicality, popularity, or even writing style” (p. xvii).
Chapter topics include What is a blog, entertainment blogs, hobby blogs, sports blogs, parenting blogs, influential current events blogs, political blogs, environmental blogs, blogs on seven continents, pushing boundaries of the blog format, and how to make your own blog. An introductory paragraph precedes each category, and thumbnail summaries of each site offer the blog title, URL, and a brief evaluation.
As an amateur musician and radio show host I was particularly drawn to the section on music blogs and was pleased to find entries on popular music, mashup blogs, music biz blogs, music reviews blogs, portable music blogs, and classical music.
Additional chapters are available free, online, as PDFs: Advanced blogging techniques and Blogging and the future.
Blogging for Business: Everything you need to know and why you should care
Shel Holtz, Ted Demopoulos
Kaplan Publishing, 2006. 247 p.
Blogosphere: Best of Blogs.
Peter Kuhns, Adrienne Crew.
Que Publishing, 2005. 320 p.
Other recommended titles:
Naked Conversations: How blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers.
Robert Scoble, Shel Israel
Wiley, 2006. 251 p.
Publishing a Blog with Blogger.
Peachpit Press, 2005. 127 p.
Blogging: Genius strategies for instant web content.
New Riders, 2003. 309 p.