The Enduring Nature of Blogs and Blogging

Nora Ganim Barnes and her colleagues at the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have looked at business blogs for some time. In 2010 50% of the Inc. 500 had a corporate blog, up from 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008.p Now in 2011, the use of blogging dropped to 37%. In contrast, they found, in a related study that blogs continued at the same 23% level in Fortune 500 companies. This has, in part, happen because of the rise of other social media that have taken over some of the function so blogs. However, blog remain the main vehicle if saying something of substance and most of the traditional media outlets have adopted them.

So it was interesting to me to go back in time to when blogs started to really increase. Clay Shriky wrote on November 12 2004 in his post, Blogging as activity, blogging as identity on Many 2 Many, that the term blogging will fad away. Here is an excerpt from the longer piece.

“I have long been of the opinion that the word weblog has no crisp meaning anymore, and is going to fade as a defining term for the same reason ‘portal’ did — there are too many patterns to be conveniently contained by one word. But here the nature of weblogging and webloggers is defined, from outside, as not just a category, but an identity.

And that I think, is not just wrong but unfair. So many people have weblogs now that anyone wanting to say anything sweeping and negative about the weblog world — they’re all bored teenagers, they rant instead of writing, they are conspiracy theorist, whatever — can find, in 10 minutes on technorati, a hundred weblogs that support their point of view.”

Well he nicely defined blogs but he certainly got the demise of the term wrong. But I tend to agree with Clay on the fading away of the term, portals. At the same time it is interesting that despite many years of people saying that they did not like the term knowledge management (KM), it has survived. Likely because it is a specific function, and not a technology, and no one could come up with a better term, whereas portals are simply an IT front end to many things. Blogs are both a technology and a style and I think it is the latter that has caused the term to survive.




Bill Ives

Bill Ives 

Bill has served for thirty years in leadership positions helping firms improve employee performance and make effective business use of emerging technologies. He worked in such areas as learning, competency assessment, knowledge management, and more recently, social media, around such topics as sales, customer service, and technology adoption. Bill has supported US Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries, along with a number of leading European firms. Currently, Bill is the SVP of Marketing at Darwin Ecosystem where he helped the firm win a number of industry awards and gain significant market recognition in its first year. He manages the Darwin blog and Twitter efforts among other tasks. He wears several other hats including writing for two other blogs: The OutStart Knowledge Solutions Blog and the AppGap. He also provides consulting to clients on effective uses of social media. Bill is a frequent speaker and author on Web topics, especially business uses of social media, both inside and outside the enterprise. Prior to his current roles, Bill was in a leadership role in knowledge management at Accenture (1996-2004) and led the Knowledge Management/Portals Client Practice (2001-2004). He was responsible for numerous knowledge management and portal strategy and implementation engagements. A number of these won industry awards for innovation and effective knowledge sharing. He also led several large learning efforts and served as executive sponsor for the firm’s Plumtree, Epicentric, and Lotus alliances. At Renaissance Strategy Group (1993-1996) Bill developed knowledge management, performance support systems, and multi-media learning systems. At both Accenture and Renaissance, he developed and documented the firm’s first knowledge management methodology. At Spectrum Interactive (1981-1993) Bill developed performance support systems, multimedia learning systems, and instructor-led training, as well as competency assessments, organizational designs, and evaluation methods for many Fortune 100 companies. From 1976 to 1981 Bill conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard University on the effects of media on cognition. He received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Toronto, an Ed. M. in Human Development from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Tufts University. Bill has published over 100 articles on business uses of the web, knowledge management, learning, and psychology and he has presented at over 100 sessions at professional conferences including, American Psychological Association, American Society for Training and Development, Braintrust, Enterprise 2.0, KM World, Enterprise Search Summit, and Webcom. Bill writes the blog, Portals and KM, since May 2004. There are over 2,500 subscribers. It is syndicated through several services including Lexis Nexis Kindle, Blogburst, and others. You can reach him at

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Author: Ruby Wade