It's Hard to Apply Traditional Metrics to Blogs

Ann All

If you believe Technorati, two new blogs are created every second of every day. Though many are devoted to nothing more than navel gazing, it stands to reason that at least some of these blogs are by, for or about business.


Companies use blogs for everything from making their upper-level executives seem more accessible, a la Sun's Jonathan Schwartz, to driving up their search engine rankings, to educating consumers about their products and services.


Yet opinion about corporate blogs remains sharply divided, judging by results of a recent poll, in which 37 percent of respondents said corporate blogs were a good way to communicate with customers and 32 percent disagreed.


The nearly even split was hardly the most surprising result of this survey: We were flabbergasted to read that 15 percent of respondents didn't know what a blog was.


One of the appeals of blogs is how inexpensively they can be created. But companies have struggled to come up with tangible, rather than anecdotal, evidence of their value. Two Forrester Research analysts are trying to do just that by applying a traditional ROI formula to corporate blogs.


Not surprisingly, the analysts aren't finding this easy. Their advice: Companies should always have a "bigger picture" of what they want to achieve with blogs.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 29, 2006 1:44 AM Ken Krause Ken Krause  says:
After the dot-com bust, organizations wanted to apply ROI metrics to everything. The wild and wasteful spending created a backlash that required justification, but it may have swung the other way. Some things have value that can't necessarily be quantified. Public relations often runs into the same problems. Ultimately it often becomes a matter of faith. If you believe you are reaching out to your customers and creating a conversation with them through your blog then it has value. If you think it's just a huge time-waster for your staff then it doesn't. It's doubtful that organizations will be able to trace their sales back directly to a blog post, at least for the foreseeable future. Reply

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