SOURCE: eMarketer

May 12, 2005 09:00 ET

Business Blogs: Should You Invest Time and Resources?

New eMarketer Report Examines the Ins and Outs of Blogging in Business

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 12, 2005 -- When it comes to business, are blogs the wave of the future or just another communications tool? Should your company invest time and resources in blogs, or concentrate on the many other Internet initiatives that are on your plate? And who's reading these blogs, anyway?

eMarketer's new report, The Business of Blogging, focuses on the use of blogs in business, as a corporate marketing or communications tool, an advertising medium for marketers, or a publishing format for media companies. And short of predicting emerging blogging usage patterns, the report seeks to understand blogs' relevance and/or necessity in today's business world.

"Blogging is an explosively popular social phenomenon that is spilling into the business world," says Ezra Palmer, eMarketer's editorial director and author of the report. "The sheer number of blogs is staggering, but many Americans still don't know what a blog is. And this seems to be reflected in the business world, where thus far, blogging's financial and economic impact is minimal."

The huge political and cultural power of blogs has made them the focus of literally hundreds of media reports in recent months (and many by bloggers writing about... blogging). But thus far the economic impact of blogging has been almost immeasurable. Many businesses (of those that are even aware of blogs and bloggers) are nervous about them, and with good reason -- blogs can bend Web traffic, upend organic search results, and tarnish a brand or a company. But blogs can also burnish brands, generate awareness, and open doors to consumers.

An informal eMarketer survey finds that just 4% of major US corporations have blogs available to the public, and even fewer produce active sites with the link and feedback features that most readers associate with true blogs. Blogging by small businesses is probably even less common.

The Business of Blogging also analyzes blog usage for advertising, marketing and public relations purposes. For instance, blogs are one-on-one points of interaction for consumers with companies, and more marketers are looking at these complaints/suggestions forums. The Web has no shortage of forums for this kind of input, but the appeal of making it directly to the party in question could well reduce the volume (and vituperation) of posting on unofficial company web sites.

More topics and issues addressed in The Business of Blogging include:

--  What are RSS Feeds and how do you use them?
--  Who is reading blogs and how much?
--  Is anyone making money on blogs?
--  Who's advertising on blogs?
--  And more…
    
The Business of Blogging looks at the implications of the blogging phenomenon for businesses, scans the corporate world's blogging activity, and offers recommendations for business users. To purchase The Business of Blogging, visit eMarketer online at http://www.emarketer.com.

About eMarketer

eMarketer is "the First Place to Look" for market research information related to e-business, online marketing and emerging technologies. eMarketer aggregates and analyzes e-business research from over 1,700 sources and brings it together in one place. This research is presented in analyst reports and the "eStat Database" -- the most comprehensive compilation of up-to-date e-business and online marketing statistics in the world. For more information, visit www.emarketer.com.

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