I find myself reading more "corporate" blogs (those associated with a company and not a single person) now than I thought I might a year or two ago. And, sadly, most of them suck.

Among the sins they commit are:

  • sucking the humanity out of blogging--or, even worse, faking humanity in formulaic and predictable ways (often the result of too much PR or Marketing influence)
  • writing only to draw attention to themselves (again, PR and Marketing)
  • writing only when they need to announce something (again)
  • not allowing comments
  • infrequent posting

But rather than name the big offenders, I figured it'd be more useful to highlight those I think are doing a fantastic job. In my mind, two of the best are the Zillow Blog and the Garmin Blog. Our own YPN Blog is a runner up in my mind, but I'm really too close to it to be unbiased.

What do I like about these blogs?

  • there's some personality in the writing
  • they write about stuff that's interesting to me (or they write it in an interesting way, and that gets my attention)
  • they post frequently
  • they write about stuff that's not always blatantly self-promotional

Do you have favorite corporate blogs that you subscribe to or visit on a regular basis? What are they? Why?

Posted by jzawodn at November 29, 2006 06:35 AM

Reader Comments
# marc said:

Thanks for the YPN blog link-love Jeremy. It's a very high compliment coming from you and considering how many other Yahoo! properties now have blogs we are [blushing] very excited to see this.

I also think Southwest Airlines' blog is a great example of what's right in the corporate blog universe. [Open comments and entries that engage ... not just PR/Marketing speak.]


check it out. flickr badge highlighting southwest airlines' photostream coming soon.... ;-)

on November 29, 2006 07:49 AM
# David G from Zillow.com said:

Hi Jeremy, thanks so much for the kudos -- I'm glad you enjoy our blog. The Zillow Blog is an important part of our customer feedback loop and it has been a great way to connect with the thought leaders in our industry who are also fanatical about real estate.

I totally agree with your list of irritations. Companies that don't allow comments may as well not blog -- and I think the same applies to the businesses that have comments on their blog but never respond to readers.

I'm off to read the Garmin Blog & YPN Blog -- thanks again.

on November 29, 2006 08:42 AM
# M2 said:

Thanks for the judos, JZ.

[insert smilry here]


on November 29, 2006 09:23 AM
# Eric said:

I think you're looking too narrowly at blogging in general. I subscribe to them when I use their products and want to stay abreast of updates. I don't expect much more than that from an official corporate blog.

It's analogous to email: Corporate blogs are just another variant of the email newsletter, getting the info out there. They're different in content and quality from what I'd expect from more personal correspondences.

I subscribe to your blog, I subscribe to several of Yahoo's "official blogs". I like yours better, but I wouldn't expect what I find here on a corporate blog.

on November 29, 2006 11:35 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Of course I'm looking at it from my own narrow point of view! :-)

I figured that goes without saying when I claim that they're *my* favorites and go on enumerate what *I* think makes for a good or bad corporate blog.

I have no expectation that anyone is going to change based on what I say here. But that doesn't mean it's not worth saying, either....

on November 29, 2006 11:49 AM
# Tim said:

I like Zopa's blog - it's informative, interesting, personal, and sometimes pretty funny.

on November 29, 2006 12:22 PM
# Dan Isaacs said:

I like Dave Hitz's blog. And co-worker Nick Triantos has a pretty good NetApp centric blog (though his isn't technically a corporate one). In the unlikely event you are a storage professional like me, at least one of these would interest you.



on November 29, 2006 04:32 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I like Dave's blog too, but it's a personal (or single person) blog, not a "corporate" one in the sense that I'm after.

on November 29, 2006 05:22 PM
# Brandon said:

I'm partial to the Tesla blog, but I would be...I work there.


on November 29, 2006 09:45 PM
# Bharath R said:

What about Jonathan Schwartz's blog?

on November 29, 2006 11:27 PM
# Aaron Wormus said:

Since we're talking about corporate blogs...

I just started one for our new Hedge Fund website creation site. I still have to work on getting the corporate entities blogging (right now it's just me). My blog has always been about posting whatever, whenever, and I've tried to keep this same approach, whether it be a site launch annoucement, in depth look at a Frequently Asked Question, Team activities, or any other random information. The problem is keeping the correct balance between professionalism an creating interesting content for other bloggers.

It's my first swing at "corporate blogging" and hopefully I can keep the suckage to a minimum.

on November 30, 2006 12:19 AM
# Aaron Wormus said:

HTML stripping... ok here's the link ;)


on November 30, 2006 12:30 AM
# Andre Stechert said:

You gotta love the dreamhost blog, especially the "Anatomy of a Disaster" series. Link love: http://blog.dreamhost.com/

on November 30, 2006 02:38 AM
# Matt McAlister said:

The RightMedia company blog is pretty good. It's mostly self-promotional, but they do a great job of addressing their posts in the context of market trends:


The authenticity of the voice(s) makes for a much more interesting read.

on November 30, 2006 05:57 AM
# Peg said:

Thanks for the kind words on the Garmin blog, Jeremy. We're hearing great things about your blogging as well, so keep up the good work. Just out of curiosity, are you a Garmin customer and if so, what's your device?

Gotta run now. I'm setting up some workouts for my blog buddy Chet.

on November 30, 2006 07:22 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Jonathon's blog is great too, but it's also a single person blog. Those are, in my mind, "easy" to get right. It's the drive-by press release 2.0 nature of these corporate group blogs than make you not want to read in so many cases.

on November 30, 2006 07:37 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Garmin products I own? You bet.

GPSMAP 76S (I broke my last one and bought a replacement a few months back, and I've convinced about 3-4 people in my flying club to get 'em too)
StreetPilot C340 -- see: http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/006212.html
Rino 130

And I'm hoping to get either a 96C or 196 (maybe 296) to replace my aging Lowrance AirMap 100.



on November 30, 2006 07:42 AM
# Adam Platti said:

Adaptive Path has a good blog too. They are an interaction design company.


on December 1, 2006 07:14 AM
# Dave Coustan said:

Long time/first time. I found this entry via Brian Oberkirch's blog: http://www.brianoberkirch.com/?p=744 this afternoon. As I'm approaching my one year anniversary blogging at Earthling: http:/blogs.earthlink.net for EarthLink, the fundamentals have been on my mind and I'm thinking about resolutions and things to try to improve on for next calendar year. Another "single person" blog, I suppose, but also a corporate blog. It was helpful to read this and think it through with the perspective of a year of it under my belt. I think my approach fits your framework, but I hope you'll raise a flag or two if Earthling heads in the direction of the suck (or if its starting point is too close to begin with, for that matter).

And p.s., thanks for all of the "heh" URLs on del.icio.us. I always enjoy them.

on December 1, 2006 02:19 PM
# Dave C. said:

darn that single slash. that's http://blogs.earthlink.net , natch.

on December 1, 2006 02:24 PM
# Ross said:

Love Garmin's products but after 2 weeks I had to unsubscribe from their blog. In my opinion they failed your point #4, every post sounded like a brochure clip for one of their products :-(

on December 1, 2006 06:19 PM
# Patrick McCarthy said:

I've enjoyed the YPN blog quite a bit. I subscribe to many corporate blogs, including numerous "product" blogs at Yahoo and Google, and it's easily one of the best of the bunch.

on December 4, 2006 02:56 PM
# Chuck Robinson said:

Great post, Jeremy.

The Signal vs. Noise blog from the agile gurus of 37signals has just the right mix of message and serendipity!



on December 7, 2006 05:37 AM
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