I recently read the eMarketer report "The Business of Blogging" and did not totally agree with everything that it inferred, but I did I come up with my own predictions on the business of blogging. While the study indicated that businesses will be slow to adopt the blogging technology as a form of corporate communication, I strongly disagree due in part to the power of blogs and their ability to harm or tarnish a business's reputation by posting negative messages. Most businesses currently do not have a way to combat the negative claims on blogs. Businesses are under the impression that what blogs say about your business matters. Therefore, my first prediction is as follows:
1.) Businesses will soon adopt blogs as a tool used to respond with a positive message to blogs attempting to tarnish their images with negative posts.
The study also spoke of a few examples of blog post content helping to uncover and drive media coverage in the form of breaking news. I believe that this will continue to be the case but become even more prominent. One of the examples was Memogate or the CBS News shake-up with Dan Rather. Another positive blog-to-media or (B2M, coined for the first time here by Somewhat Frank) event was the Clorox Bleach Pen which inspired many admirable blog posts like this one by One Good Bumblebee, which then turned into very nice sensational media pieces. So my second prediction is:
2.) Blogs will drive more media coverage. (B2M)
With the current state of the blogging platform technology it is apparent to me that more people will be putting out blog sites rather then actual web sites. I think the main reason for this is the minor differences in appearance and function and ease and speed of blogs to production. So I feel that many company's will eventually realize that you will not lose viewers by creating a blog site rather then a web site from scratch. In fact, the blog platforms are so flexible you will probably be able to do everything you did before and more. Just to add more fuel to the fire, the weblog platform structure enables blogs for mobile delivery more readily and with ease making them even more appealing to the next generation of sites. See my platf0rm analysis post here. Finally, my third prediction is as follows:
3.) Blogs will start to replace simple websites.
We will see what the future hold and if any of these Somewhat Frank predictions hold water.
For a PR/Marketing perspective and analysis of the eMarketer report check out Mitch Joel's post here.