Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book Blogging

Recently came across the notion of prepublication interaction that WEB 2.0 technologies encourage. More specifically, a few business technological writers have been utilizing the blog as a means of documenting research and findings (similar to what I am doing for my thesis) and allowing users and potential customers to view how they are approaching their research as well as receive feedback on what they are doing. Tools such as the blog are now allowing us to bring customers into the conversation before the finished product is released. This by all accounts makes sense and should lead to a more efficient marketplace. In this case, it includes the market for books. Matching what authors produce to the desires of the reader. This by all means is not perfect as it is only limited to the population of readers who in fact are aware of these tools and can use the internet. One can only assume that as generations advance than so will the adaptation of these tools and the better sampling of responses that authors' can consequently recieve.

Here is mcKinsey's take on the transparent office blog

"My personal favorite is the by-line on Chris Anderson's Long Tail Blog. Chris describes his blog as "a public diary on themes around a book". (If memory serves, it used to be called "a public diary on the way to becoming a book." I guess he had to change the by-line when the book came out.) What's cool about Chris's blog is that it's not exactly democratizing publishing. Chris is a veteran journalist, and he probably would have written the book with our without the blog. But the line between pre-publication and publication got blurred, and I'd wager that the book, and the public discourse around it, were far better as a result."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bloomberg's Take

"blogging lets companies leap from a ``transmitting'' mindset to an ``engaging'' one. (The book is mercifully short on such jargon.) Take the news a few years back that a Bic pen could pick a Kryptonite lock. The company's chief executive officer jumps on the blog the same day with explanations and reparations."

"barber blog,'' which listens to your customers and shares wisdom, to the "blacksmith blog,'' written by an industry insider who shapes the big issues in any given industry."

It's clear that we can anticipate more CEO blogs and more ``about us'' pages on corporate sites that are constantly updated rather than cast in concrete."

Excerpts From Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright

These are some excellent excerpts from the book Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright. I selected these notions and support them as the points in the main hypothesis I am developing behind the blog marketing rational...

"Every company has a lot of great ideas waiting to come to the surface. The problem with bringing those ideas to the surface is threefold: giving ideas space to develop, helping ideas get improved, and implementing the best ideas.....

The challenge for companies who invest in ideas is often that the best ideas don’t get to the top, don’t get reviewed, or don’t even get considered. This idea barrier could be killing your company. A truly open and internally viewable idea blog, or even individual employee blogs that allow people to float new ideas for peer review, should allow the best ideas to rise to the surface for selection and review. We’ll look at the concept of idea blogs more in Chapter 6, as they are an exciting way to empower your employees and generate thought."

"Relying on a small sample of customers to reflect what the entire world desires is risky at best, and foolhardy at worst. If you can’t ask everyone in the world what they want, you’re unlikely to be able to deliver what everyone truly desires. With blogging, you can ask—if not the entire world, then at least your entire blog readership, who are probably connected to and/or reading other blogs all over the Net."

"New methods of effective marketing include creating “viral” campaigns, customer-centric events, and otherwise helping customers spread the word through incentive programs and contests."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rules for selecting blogs as a advertising medium...

Several companies that have had more success that others regarding promoting their products via blogs have successfully implemented the six following steps...

1. Search common web portals to see if a popular blog already exists on your company's product. (i.e

2. Look at frequency of blog to ensure that it is posted on at least TWICE a week.

3. Ensure that this blog is cross linked across the internet community (check

4. Read bloggers entrees to see if the blogger would be amenable to an outside approach of blogging about your companies product. Only use this approach if the blogger seems enthusiastic and develops a positive attitude towards your product.

5. Ask whether the product of service is applicable to blogging. Are there already extensive web communities developed around your product. I.E new camera technology works infinitely better in this medium than say new milk products. Some products generate more technical interest on the internet, particularly products that develop and update quicker than others.

6. Use convetional means to promote the blog. These could include e-mail, online and print advertising, television, and promotional sweepstakes (giveaways) reguarding the blog.

Reference: Marketing And Blogs: What Works by James L. Horton

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marketing Blogs Case Three

Recently, when investigating Nike's blog site ( I came across a lot of unique ways this company is connecting with its customers. The site offers product introductions of basketball shoes before they are released in the stores and also include innovative features with live chats with college basketball coaches.

The only issue was that this site does not feel like a blog at all. Nowhere can the customers see who the author is or leave feedback on posts. As soon as customers click on a link within the blog they are brought out of the blog to a page within Should they even call this a blog?

Marketing Blogs Case Two

Sony Playstation has an impressive employee blog ( when fans can log in and get the most up to date and inside information from the source about upcoming games, releases, and just Sony culture in general. On such post markets its new game wipEout Pulse and is done so by the Producer himself telling you about the game.

His post includes such praise,

"We completely overhauled the AI such that each and every race is now competitive from beginning to end. There are no crude catch-up techniques going on this time, we’ve worked and worked on it to ensure that each race is as tightly contested as possible."

and updates as...

"Not only that but we were the first title (in Europe at least) to support the new PlayStation Network login system which means that you can now use the same login that you use for your PS3 on your PSP. You’ll be racing against someone on the other side of the world within 10 minutes of booting the game up for the first time which is just awesome."

To me this sort of indirect marketing for Sony's products is alot more personal and meaningful than a billboard on the window of an EA Games store. The customers and fans of the game are really being able to connect with the people who produce their product. The comments section consists of a myriad of questions and praise from people who have already purchased the game.

Marketing Blogs Case One

Delta Airlines has made effective use of it's impressive company blog. Recently, there has been a post concerning the airlines new addition of the Delta’s first 777-200LR plane. (

This beautiful plane has a picture in the post and information included about the first delivery flight on this plane on February 29th. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this post regards the interaction in the comment section between the blogger (Chris - Manager In Flight Global Development) and his audience.

The tangible excitement and curiosity garnered in this section...

"Just curious, on what route do you plan to put this beautiful baby to work?"

"I must say Chris, this is very exciting!I am aware of the fact that Delta is receiving a lot more than 2 777-200LRs. Can you possibly provide ideas Delta has for the routes for those planes?"

"WOW! The inside is probably amazing… can’t wait to see the new business seats."

Obviously, this method is effective for gaining publicity and generating a buzz about the new plane Delta has to offer. More importantly this buzz is FREE! It is being generated by those individuals earnestly interested in the airlines industry (those who read airlines blogs) and consequently those individuals will probably generate the most effective buzz about the product as well. I myself got a little curious in seeing how these airline gurus reacted to this news.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Twitter in the workplace....

In research some enterprise 2.0 blogs on the FASTForward blog website found the following.

"Positive Results

  • Forces reduction of hierarchy enforcing rules
    • I say this because the more you constrain and layer access controls on “tweets” the less value they have overall, but more significantly, it directly reduces the benefit to the creator
  • Personal Brand development - highly personal platform
  • Crises discovery and management capability
  • Increased awareness of ongoing work
  • Interactions between individuals can strengthen their social-network ties to further inform other tools (like search, group forming, etc)
  • Potential to outperform other tools in the rate of adoption (low barrier to start using the tool)

Potential Issues

  • Immediate business value may not be apparent depending on the organization
  • Low search value (individual entries to not usually contain full content on any specific topic)
  • Must be device agnostic. Individuals who do almost all their email on a blackberry will need an appropriate version of an Enterprise twitter"
I still am not convinced on twitter in the workplace. It seems to be a device that derives its value from sheer curiosity of other users who become obsessed with the intricacies of each others lives. I do not feel its format allows for enough data to be exchanged to have an real value add.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

How to implement a wiki...

Interesting post today by Michael Indinopulos in his blog ( on how wiki's should be driven to creation by the demand side rather than the supply side. In sum,

"The way to do that is to structure or "stub" a wiki in advance--before you invite others to join the wiki. Here's a simple four-step process:

1. Get a small group of core community members to whiteboard a high-level information architecture in the form of a few categories (not more than 4-8) and subcategories (not more than 1-2 levels deep)

2. Create a series of blank pages or "stubs" hyperlinked to reflect the category structure

3. Assign each category to an individual member of the group to flesh out

4. Reconvene in 1-2 weeks to review what everyone has done, share learnings, and revise the category structure"

As a test of this theory, I have recently created a wiki ( on wet paint for my professional business fraternity. Obviously, this collaboration tool is needed for synergizing the efforts of 60-70 students working together. I have provided the structure and will let the rest of the form be filled by the members.

Will let you know, how this theory works in implementing this technology to our organization.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Airlines In The Blogosphere

NYTime's article ( cites the current use of travel blogs and blogs within the Airline Industry. I can see this being huge in the world of travel as it is a huge word of mouth business. Most interesting was the section where it spoke of Blogs as a vehicle to gauge customer reactions to policy implementations. The article cites "Blogs can also be a quick way to gauge customer reaction to policies. Early last year, Bill Owen, a schedule planner at Southwest, wrote in a post that the airline sold its inventory only three months in advance. But after an outcry online, it changed its policy and now sells tickets at least four months in advance" Interesting in that this mode of delivery, so to speak, is acting as a free test area for companies and also that it is free. One these blogs are attached to the main pages of companies web sites ( as it is at then they will surely generate a sufficient amount of traffic and become more and more efficient vehicles to delivery company plans and get a good taste of how successful these implementations will be.

WSJ Article

While exploring the business and technology blogs on an interesting CIO magazine article was found that cites one of the main things CIO's need to pay attention to is

" Find ways to integrate Web 2.0 information into BI. Web 2.0 data sources and other unstructured data do not obviate the need for traditional structured data, says Hatch, but they can be used to boost BI efforts. Amassing large sets of historical data reveals trends, performance metrics and specific business calculations: These are the foundation of most BI efforts. But the ability to enhance that historical data with relevant and timely information found in blogs, comments and competitors' websites is becoming more important for delivering actionable information throughout the enterprise."-CIO Magazine (

The WSJ article expands on this citing

"he Business Technology Blog agrees with this approach, but we think some fundamental steps also need to be taken within an organization well before the launch of such “intelligent” tools. For one, companies need to make sure that a commitment to business intelligence is adopted from the top down, starting with the CEO. Tom Davenport, a professor at Babson College and an expert in business analytics and intelligence, notes that the CEOs most successful with business intelligence–including’s Jeff Bezos and Harrah Entertainment’s Gary Loveman–are mathematically oriented. (Loveman has a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

Once a committed CEO is in place, he or she can establish a tone within the company that encourages people to back up their assertions with data. Companies can also establish a formal education program to teach employees about the benefits of using business intelligence and its impact on the business. That CEO can also cite a competitor who is using data to its advantages. Nothing is more motivating than a rival’s success." -WSJ.COM (

Interesting points. It seems that these initiatives need to be started from the top down when really it is the bottom or "grassroots" so to speak portions of the companies that make the tools useful. From my research thus far, it seems the top levels (exec) of these companies have been slow adapters to the new technologies as employees began blogging etc. on their own long before company sponsored blogs appeared.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Some good blogs...

Yesterday, I found a great blog at from Andrew McAfee and the research that he has conducted over at Harvard Business School. His posts are spot on with the type of research that I would like to conduct via Enterprise 2.0.

Among, the more notable posts reveal a link to the recent blog of his friend (Michael Idinopulos) over at transparent office . One this was useful in discerning the distinct difference between "in the flow" wiki's versus "above the flow" wiki's. According to his post,
  • In-the-Flow wikis enable people do their day-to-day work in the wiki itself. These wikis are typically replacing email, virtual team rooms, and project management systems.
  • Above-the-Flow wikis invite users to step out of the daily flow of work and reflect, codify, and share something about what they do. These wikis are typically replacing knowledge management systems (or creating knowledge management systems for the first time).
Anther useful anticodote I came across citied a projection for the amount of e-mail received per person per day and consequently the percentage of time spent managing that e-mail. The results are as follows....

Average number of corporate emails sent and received per person, per day:
2007: 142
2008: 156
2009: 177
2010: 199
2011: 228

Percent of work day spent managing email for the average corporate email user:
2003: 17%
2006: 26%
2009: 41%

This was most interesting to me because most of the research that I have read indicates for the most part a lot of this enterprise 2.0 technology will essentially enable e-mail to be reduced as work will be conducted via more synergistic platforms (such as wiki's). I doubt this projection took these emerging workspaces into effect and plotted e-mail usage strictly on a linear platform.
Back to the first post I mentioned, I just wanted to touch upon one more post that Professor McAfee has published concerning his time spent with heads of HR of various firms and their response to the Enterprise 2.0 technologies (see People, Computers and People People post). To me it was personally staggering that "HR executives uniformly felt that their companies would not allow their websites to include a ‘community’ section where customers could hold discussions, post issues, and help each other find solutions." This could be a consequence of the characteristics of the generations currently in those decision making positions not ready to "embrace" the change of bringing effective social interaction via the web. This will be interesting to see how perspective of HR change as the technology becomes more embedded within society (i.e facebook)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It has begun...

My name is Jason Bomberger and I am currently a eighth semester honors MIS major at the University of Connecticut. For my senior thesis I have decided to conduct an investigation into the emerging world of Web Enterprise 2.o and its implications. For the purposes of my research I will be utilizing this blog to track my progress as well as current research, sources, and conclusions as this project evolves.

Defined as "a term describing social software used in "enterprise" (business) contexts. It includes social and networked modifications to company intranets and other classic software platforms used by large companies to organize their communication. In contrast to traditional enterprise software, which imposes structure prior to use, this generation of software tends to encourage use prior to providing structure." For the purposes of this research I will solely focus on the blog, wiki, bliki, social networking tools, RSS signaling, prediction markets and podcasting tolls currently implemented in organizations.

Based on my initial research, I truly believe that these tools are going to dramatically change the business landscape concerning how it is conducted and the efficiency of information and communication inside and outside the business as a whole. There are however dramatic implications as well as cautionary measures that need to be strictly implemented as in any technological implementation. Nevertheless, the potential is there as these tools should be come more and more prevalent across the business landscape...