Blogging has come out of nowhere over the past year as a force of change
in the business world. But most companies have yet to come to terms with
what to do with it. As a result, their reactions to its use are all over
”Some ignore blogs, some fire employees who have them, a few have PR
folks ghost write posts for management, while others are encouraging
employees to start blogs,” says Guy Creese a content management analyst
with the Burton Group, an analyst firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As a result of its new-found fame, the editors of Datamation.com added a
corporate blogging category to its Product of the Year 2006 awards.
Taking the top spot is iUpload Customer Conversation System by iUpload of
Burlington, Ontario WordPress placed second, with BlogModule in third,
followed by TeamPage 3.6 by Traction Software Inc. of Providence, R.I.,
and Moveable Type 3.2 by Six Apart Ltd. of San Francisco.
The iUpload Customer Conversation System makes it possible to quickly and
inexpensively roll out a blogging program. iUpload styles the combination
of the latest social media and content management tools as a ”market
conversation system” that improves internal and external communications,
drives operational efficiencies and creates new marketing channels.
”Anything can be a blog post and iUpload enlists various capabilities to
turn that post into other types of content,” says Robin Hopper, CEO and
founder of iUpload. ”At the core of the platform is a backend for
liberating the best content from individual blogs and enabling that
content across other web properties, including third-party applications,
such as CRM and ERP systems and enterprise portals.”
iUpload also can impose an editorial layer between contribution and
publishing. This lets companies designate some bloggers as ”trusted”
authors, allowing their posts to be published broadly, while content
contributed by other authors must pass through a review process.
Hopper reports that more than 50 companies are using the product to date,
including McDonald’s and The New York Times Co.
Cannondale Bicycle Corp. of Bethel, Conn., for example, manufactures
high-end bikes. It uses iUpload to engage its audience and drive sales.
”Conversations about our industry, company and products are taking place
24/7, with or without us,” says Janet Maurice, head of Cannondale’s web
operations. ”In taking advantage of this new social media and
facilitating community through iUpload, we are able to creatively build
on our brand’s cult following, while producing new products based upon
our consumers’ input, and promote cycling as a lifestyle of choice.”
Creese says blogs accomplish several purposes. They make the customer
voice more visible, personalize the voice of the company, add more
control during a crisis and create a platform for enthusiasts.
”iUpload can help gather disparate blog posts from multiple employees
and platforms, and can be used as a clearing house to create a corporate
blog that cherry picks the best posts out of all the employee posts,”
says Creese. ”This helps keeps the content amount up, and also gives a
certain amount of control to the guardians of the corporate voice.”