This is part 4 of a series on the growth of the Blogosphere, its impact on individuals, corporations, media, politics, and technology, Part 1 covered the overall growth of the blogosphere, part 2 covered the volume of postings, and part 3 covered the growing influence that bloggers are having, and compared them to the online presences of traditional mainstream media.
Today I'll discuss a small but influential segment of bloggers - Corporate Bloggers. These are people who blog in an official or semi-official capacity at a company, or are so affiliated with the company where they work that even though they are not officially spokespeople for the company, they are clearly affiliated. For example, the folks in SAP's developers program get blogs if they want them, and are available to anyone who joins the (free) SAP developers network. This group also includes folks at Sun Microsystems and at Microsoft, where employees are actively encouraged to blog.
The chart above (click on it to see a larger version) shows some of the organizations that are at the forefront of the corporate blogging wave. In addition to the big corporate names and the bloggers at companies involved in the blogging space, there are a large number of individual consultants, small business owners, and individual CxO bloggers - about 3,000 that we have identified as of October 2004 - which fill the “other” category. These are folks who are blogging about what is going on at their businesses, but either because of the small number of people at the business, or the small number of bloggers at the individual business, we aggregated them into a single category.
Even though some of the largest technology companies are represented in this graph, to me this shows that we are still at the relative start of accepted use of blogging as a part of corporate policy - and that there is still a tremendous opportunity for forward-thinking companies and management to have a significant positive impact on their public perception by encouraging an enlightened blogging policy, encouraging openness both within and outside of the organization.