The Journal comments on a new Forrester Research report:

A new study by Forrester Research reviewed 90 blogs run by business-to-business companies in the Fortune 500, and surveyed about twice that many B2B marketers. Like most businesses, these companies want to use the Internet to reach their customers. But because B2B companies are selling to people who follow their products professionally and not for pleasure, they face a greater challenge than companies that sell primarily to consumers.

They're not handling that challenge well: Forrester found that most B2B blogs are "dull, drab, and don't stimulate discussion." Seventy percent stuck to business or technical topics, 74% rarely get comments, and 56% simply regurgitated press releases or other already-public news. Not surprisingly, 53% of B2B marketers say that blogging has marginal significance or is irrelevant to their strategies--the rest call it somewhat or highly significant--and the number of new corporate blogs among the companies Forrester tracks has dropped from 36 in 2006 to just three in 2008.
What I can't figure out is, what's the problem with "stuck to business or technical topics".  That doesn't by definition mean that the blog is boring, though I have heard from many of you that the fact that I occasionally inject some non-Lotus/industry aspects into this blog is part of what keeps it interesting.

My own early foray into "corporate blogging" (on lotus.com/weblog) was a failure because of a then-restrictive set of IBM web policies and the inability to interact.  However, looking at the IBM developerWorks blogging cloud these days, I would say that we have some bright, imaginative, thought leaders from IBM who are blogging and keeping it interesting.  Mary Beth Raven has, I believe, the most hits of any blog on the ibm.com infrastructure, and she's not dull, drab, or without discussion.

I haven't read the full Forrester report yet -- adding to the to-do list.  Maybe they meant senior executives who are blogging?
Update 3 PM CDT: I've read the report.  It seems like the downfall of the report is that the entire focus was bloggers on the actual F500 company websites.  There did not seem to be any account of the many bloggers for F500 companies -- like IBM and Microsoft, but also many others -- who blog on their own websites but speak mostly to corporate/B2B audiences.  Perhaps a broader look at blogging in this segment would include a view of the rest of us who are "off-site".

Link: The Wall Street Journal: Most Corporate Blogs Are Unimaginative Failures >

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