I was interested in seeing whether companies in India have begun to use blogs as a means of communication with different audiences, and I did some digging around to see who is doing what. Surprise, surprise! I just can’t find too many corporate blogs in the first place. (Or my googling skills are poor!).
The usual culprits, which have been much talked about before, came to light again. First, the Infosys Blog, Think Flat. Now they have put together a star blogger team, with senior members from communication, marketing, sourcing, consulting etc besides Nandan Nilekani himself. But one odd thing about the blog is, that perhaps because of a number of contributers adding pieces whenever their schedule permits, the blog is very erratically updated. Sometimes articles follow each other after a day, and sometimes there are no posts for a week or ten days. I think regular updation is critical for a serious blog. Another surprising thing is that at the end of a page, there is no link pointing to ‘older posts’. One has to trudge through the archives. Perhaps they need someone who understands blogging and can help this senior team out by coordinating posts and having a more user friendly design. However, the content on the blog is quite good – while it touches briefly on Infy’s expertise, it doesn’t hardsell in any way, and in most cases, is quite interesting to read, though not phenomenally.
Then, there is Fritolay India’s blog, maintained by Madhu Rajesh and Abhijit Bhaduri from their HR function. This is really more of a fun, informal blog, and as such, the regular aims of ‘corporate blogging’ may not apply. However, I think they do a good job of presenting Fritolay as a young, vibrant place to work in. Definitely, if prospective employees came upon the blog, they would find it interesting and appealing. Again, the frequency of blogging is not consistent. I am not sure if they are thinking of this also as a means to keep current employees updated or whether they have a separate intranet/blog for that. But if they do want to keep current employees involved as well, then it may be a good idea to update more often.
I also came upon Tata Interactive’s blog, which is a mix of general interest article as well as those focused upon design and technology related issues. This one seems to be updated quite often, and also has a mix of regular writers plus guest writers. I suppose this helps them keep things in control, since the core blogging team must be monitoring content, ensuring updation and a good mix of subjects. Another notable thing about this blog is that many of the posts have atleast a few comments on them, something absent from the other two.
In the case of the Infosys blog especially, I got the feeling that they were operating in isolation. There was little dialogue with other technology blogs, few links to other bloggers – the posts aren’t really very different from what a website or maybe online journal might have. They don’t seem to be really blogging in that sense, since one of the most powerful things about blogging is the conversations and relationships it can build. So does it really help to maintain a blog if you can’t be active in the related blogging community?
Some of the lesser known ones – Giftex – a company that I’ve never heard about, but has a blog with quite good content on its area of operation, gifting. Score India, a sports development/promotion company that has a corporate blog that sort of goes all over the place and stopped running after October 2006. I am not sure what book launches are doing in there, except for the one on the Commonwealth games. And the formatting is terrible. Tekriti Software’s blog too has not been updated after November 2006, though the content was good, while it lasted!
Does your company have a blog? Let me know if you’ve come across any others that I may have missed out.