As I sit here writing this weeks blog, on blogging, the irony is not lost on me. Particularly as I am nothing but a humble, first-time blogger. I can only assume if you are this page you have some concept of what a blog is. However, my Dad always taught me to never assume, so with that in mind here is a basic definition:
A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first) (Wikipedia, n.d.).
Pretty simple concept, right? Simplicity – one of the things that make blogs so great. Nowadays, there are a number of blog hosting websites, such as wordpress, which enable anyone and everyone to start a blog with ease.
Blogs were one of the first social media’s following the birth of web 2.0 and have continued to grow in popularity, versatility and usability (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Today nearly everyone and their dog as a blog, covering just about everything; from travel, cooking, fashion or business. Blogs are usually managed by one person, and are great way for people to express themselves and interact with others online (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Unfortunately, a successful blog isn’t as easy to obtain as simply starting one. For a blog to be successful, you need readership and a following. Establishing a following generally requires your blog to have a particular voice (informal, editorial etc.), frequency (weekly, daily etc.), style (themes, name, colours etc.), features (categories, tags, widgets etc.), passion and must engage with an audience, encouraging comments and discussion. These features will decide the type of individuals your blog will attract, based upon their interests, hobbies, and lifestyle.
The role of blogging in social media
As one of the first social media’s to take the world by storm, blogging is central to the social media ecology (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Blogging is in many ways the core of other social media’s such as Facebook and Twitter, described as “microblogging”. More recently, YouTube has seen the development of “vlogging”, or video blogging as blogging develops to utilise other media formates (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Not only is the concept of blogging at the core of other social media’s, but a blog can also act as a hub, connecting readers to your other forms of social media. The introduction of widgets and social media buttons on blogs means you can now direct your readers to any other forms of social media you have. This is a great tool for businesses, who communicate to their customers on a range of social medias depending on their differing functionalities and scope.
On that note…
Blogging and business
Blogs are a great online tool that businesses can take advantage of to achieve organizational communications. Blogs can perform a number of functions, including: promoting causes, informing customers, facilitating internal communications, advertising business services or discussing the wider actions of a business, such as sponsorship and community involvement. All these functions take advantage of the blog platform to help build a brand identity and allow businesses to communicate with their stakeholders online.
Using blogs, particularly for business can have its risk. Firstly, blogs can provide a platform for dissatisfied customers to air any grievances or complaints about a business, in the form of comments or their own blogs. The public nature of blogs can make these situations very harmful for businesses and reputations (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Secondly, should firms choose to encourage employee participation online through blogs etc., they may have to deal with any issues that may arise from employees speaking negatively about the company, or anything that can be taken negatively and reflect back on the company (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Blogs can be a great tool for businesses to take advantage of, however, must be used wisely. Like anything in life that offers reward, there is always risk.
Anyone already a blogger? Would love any links to your blogs. I have a few friends who blog, and have been tempted to start one during my travels… maybe this will be the beginning 🙂
Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Blog. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog