Saturday, March 31, 2007

And now... "Ghost Blogs!"

The Internet’s fastest growing graveyard has an estimated 200 tombstones – dead blogs, called “Ghost Blogs!”

Blogging, having peaked in October 2006, when 100,000 new blogs were being created each day, is now on a precipitous slide, predicted by Gartner research to level out at 100 million. Other analysts predict a low of 30 million.

What started as perhaps the best tool for self-expression and publishing on the Internet, may be dying for the simple reason that their authors have run out of things to say. Others may neither have the time nor the inclination to write anymore. And as usual, the trendy crowd may have moved on to posting home videos on YouTube or to social networking on sites like MySpace where the response from other users is way faster.

But here lies the opportunity for serious bloggers who can post good content. It will be easier to be ‘heard’ over the now diminishing ‘noise.’

Remember the hit song, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going?”

Long live the Blog!

Monday, March 19, 2007

HR Blogs

Less than 2 weeks ago, I had posted a topic on the B-blog, inviting comments from group members on the possibility of using it as an HR tool.

Interestingly, all the 3 groups viz., HRI, GiveFactsHR and HR Meet, did not publish my post for whatever reasons.

However, The Economic Times carried exactly such an article in its Corporate Dossier section of 16th March '07. The article shows how, 'Indian corporates are now taking the plunge and launching blogs where employees can express their views on just about anything. The result in most cases, has been a torrent of great ideas...'

I have again posted on all three groups, inviting comments from members, if the post gets published this time!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Business of Business-blogging

B-blogging, or Business-blogging, is a recent development and is fast growing.
A B-blog (short for Business Web Log) is in essence, a website but unlike a website which is a one-way static display of promotional content, a B-blog is a dynamic and highly interactive dissemination of informational content directed at a targeted audience. It is this fact alone that makes blogging a potent MarComm (Marketing Communication) tool.

Why B-blog?

• B-blogging promotes the products or services of a business by providing expert information to potential customers.

• Over a period of time, it can establish the company as the leader in the industry or a consultant as an expert in his field.

• It is an excellent platform for the CEO of a company to convey the vision of the organization.

• It has a very personal touch. Written in the first person, like any diary entry (unlike a website which is usually written in the third person and may not even be written by the owner of the site) it gives the company a human face – a big advantage in this era of giant corporations.

• Conversely, small businesses, including consultancy, can seem bigger and less personal by partnering with business bloggers and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) firms.

• Since blogging is interactive, it can provide instant customer feedback, avoiding tedious market surveys and data crunching, a good example being that of Bajaj Auto – “The first review of Pulsar was on our table within three hours of its launch, thanks to bloggers.” – S Sridhar, VP – Marketing, Bajaj Auto, as quoted in the Economic Times of 3rd March, 07.

• Quality standards like ISO 9001 prescribe alignment of process improvement initiatives with customers’ needs and feedback. B-blogs can be a great receptacle for feedback from customers.

Advantages of B-blogging

• Unlike email marketing, which relies on ‘push’ technology i.e., to push content unasked for, B-blogging is not intrusive and with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, it utilizes ‘pull’ technology which means, users ask for content.

• Blogging software is free or very cheap. WordPress is the most popular and can be downloaded at Another favourite is Blogger, which can be downloaded at for free.

• You don’t have to buy web space – its free too

• No knowledge of writing HTML code is required – only good copy!

• You can even hire professional copywriters to write content for your posts.

• It enhances SEO, as it does not require complex HTML code which is the bane of search engines.

• B-blogging is not only far cheaper than advertising in traditional media like print and television but the material has a much longer life – theoretically, forever!

What’s in it for the customer?

• A B-blog simplifies the process of browsing in search of articles and any other relevant information on the products and services of the company
• Customers – potential share holders – can have a better insight into growth potentials and future plans of the organization much before the AGM
• Prospective employees can have a better ‘feel’ of the organization even before they join the company
• Readers have the option to leave comments, spurring lively discussions
• Readers have the option of signing up to receive new content via email or RSS (or Atom) feeds through syndication services

Things to do before launching your B-blog

• Define your B-blog’s mission
• Get corporate support from the start
• Research how customers want to read your blog i.e., RSS v/s email
• Test an internal blog first
Things to do after launching your B-blog
• Make sure you have got a great subject line, and get to the point in the first few sentences
• Blog what’s important to customers/readers
• Use visual elements if possible
• To get consistent traffic, be original. Don’t just echo what everybody else is saying.
• Write crisp, neat and natural – not structured like a newspaper article or advertorial, for that matter.
• Update or post at fixed intervals e.g., weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Better still, post on specific dates.
• Use keywords extensively, to entice search engine robots
• Syndicate your blog with RSS service
• Cross-promote the blog and the company’s eNewsletter

Other innovative uses of blogs

Blog to book projects – Personal blogs that attract a huge readership have been spotted by publishers and converted into books. There is even an annual Blooger Award for the best blogbook!

Crisis-situation blogs – Blogs to help people keep in touch with the latest developments, rescue operations and information about injured or missing people e.g., Tsunami blogs.

Education blogs could play a great role in distance education where students are spread over large geographical areas

Fiction-blogs (no, they are not called F-blogs) – As the name suggests, these are fiction novels in-the-making, where a number of authors and/or readers collaborate on a project.

It is surprising why politicians have yet not capitalized on blogs – they could call them P-Blogs!

Copyright © 2007 Noël Gama

About the author

Noël Gama is an AWAI (American Writers & Artists Institute, USA) trained B2B Web copywriter and consultant with more than 20 years experience in the manufacturing industry.

He is the winner of "Writer of the Year 2007" award of The Writers Bureau (UK), the world's largest writing school.

His innovative Blog2Book project was launched by the Consul General of Portugal in June 2006.

His book on writing the obsolescence-free Personnel manual titled, “The Evergreen Redbook” is due for release as the first in the Red2Green series of How-To HRM books.

He writes brochures, articles, press releases, newsletters, white papers, catalogs, and content for landing pages and web sites. 

And, he writes copy himself – he doesn’t hire junior copywriters. The 'Noël Gama' tag on your copy is a guarantee that each and every word was written by him – an advantage not available from other sources.

He has been offered a 2-book deal by Survival Books Ltd., UK for their best-selling series. He has signed the contract for the first book, "Culture Wise India" to be released in the last quarter of 2007. The 2nd book is titled, "Living & Working in India" and is due in spring 2008.

His website: http://