Corporate Blogs – Yes please!

RSS IconDustin’s comments in his last blog post got me thinking (which is never a good thing). Dustin said “You just set my blogging efforts at Move back by a year or so”. To which I reply, “I hope not! You don’t have that much time!”

One of the cool good things that has happened recently is the rise of corporate blogging. What’s interesting is you’re finding them in places you wouldn’t expect. Did you know Dell has a blog, meanwhile Apple does not? I think it’s an excellent way for a company to get in touch with it’s customers (and vice-a-versa), without the reality distortion and corporate hubris that happens when communicating via a scripted “public relations firm” message.

You may be surprised to learn that even the venerable General Motors has blog (In case anybody from GM management reads this – Good luck turning the company around and keep up the great work at Cadillac and Saturn. I’m rooting for you). If a 100 year old company in the rust belt has seen the value of blogging, I have to wonder why hasn’t every large company? 

In case you doubt the potential of corporate blogging, look no further than Microsoft. Robert Scoble helped put a human face on the “evil empire”, by spearheaded Microsoft’s Channel 9 video blogs and wrote the book on corporate blogging. When he left Microsoft for PodTech, it created nearly as much news as when Bill Gates announced his “retirement”. An anonymous Microsoft employee, through his blog has changed the company for the better. Even though the Human Resources dept has a blog, and prominent engineers have them too, a small corporate blog can as useful as the MSDN blogging network is to the “Redmond Giant”.

I personally enjoy reading Zillow’s blog, RedFin’s blog, and Trulia’s blog every day. Even the HouseValues’ blog can be interesting on occassion (it seems like they have a fun corporate culture, even if they just sell leads for a living). But where is the John L Scott, Coldwell Banker and Windermere blogs? I know countless agents of those brokers and independent brokers blog and do it very well (I think I’ve seen most of them on Rain City Guide at one time or another), but where is the human voice of those companies? They should at least give me a way to search for their agent’s blogs. Are these brokers nothing but a logo for an agent to put on their marketing? They may not realize it, but I think they are losing mind-share (which may become market-share) by being silent in the blogosphere.

Which brings me back to my original question, regarding Dustin’s comment. When is Move going to get a corporate blog?

Although, Rain City Guide is an excellent blog, it’s not the most appropriate venue for Move specific information (nor should it be). Why hasn’t Move added RSS feeds to any page that offers e-mail alerts? How are Move’s product offerings better than other things out there? What cool stuff is Move is doing? Why would a Software Engineer want to work there? Why should a realtor advertise with Move instead of one of these “Web 2.0 upstarts”? Heck, why not feature profiles of happy customers (something HouseValues does well)? I’d love to hear somebody explain the the Innovator’s Dilemma that Move faces to your constituency, so they’d understand why Zillow, etc are steeling the mind-share that used to have. What’s the best MLS in the country to deal with and why? If Dustin or his co-workers explained why things are the way they are, maybe somebody in a position to change things would read the blog and start talking? After all if GM blogs, the CEO of Sun Microsystems has a blog, and Mini & Scoble can change Microsoft, I think anything is possible.

I’m not trying to pick on Dustin, but I really want to add the Move blog to my RSS feed reader and I can’t!