It was a typical Friday night at the Leggio house. The portable AC was blaring, a terrible movie (i.e. "Titanic") was on the television and a blog project was being hammered on via laptop. This particular project, which I knew would be slightly tedious, turned into a head-smacking experience when I hit several virtual walls in trying to get it done.
I started out merely subscribing to the RSS feeds of companies that interest me and whose news I don't want to miss. The first four or five were stellar. I went to the site and saw that bright orange RSS button and reached for it and grabbed what I wanted without haste. Then I landed on company six... then seven... then eight and found my mouth agape in shock over the lack of easy access information on these companies' sites.
For the record, I do use a script that allows me to easily spot the RSS feed of any given site, but when researching a company that touts its social networking and business efficiency prowess I always check to see how accessible it makes its information.
Makes sense, right? I was determined to finish so I did. A total of 52 company Web sites were reviewed. Of those 52 sites, 21 of them had easily accessible blogs or RSS feeds. It got to the point that I would audibly cheer if I saw, once again, that happy little square orange button. The other 31?
- 7 didn't even have a blog
- 10 had blogs but no way for the average reader to find the RSS feed
- 11 didn't have an RSS feed at all
- 2 only offered email subscription
- 1 only had a feed for comments and not posts (what?)
- I'd wager that 75 percent of them all had a note that said "check back later for more info!"
I'm lazy. I love RSS because it delivers the information to my reader. I don't want to hunt and peck around a Web site every time I require new information or am trying to find news with which to fill my blog. I know I am not alone in this Internet couch potato-ness.
The bottom line is that if you have a company that claims it can streamline operations or communications for businesses, it is not required that you have a blog. It's recommended, mostly because I want to see that you practice what you're trying to sell. Although not having one is a lesser offense than having content and not making it easy for your readers (i.e. money-doling prospects) to stay abreast of your organization's news and information.
Think of your blog headlines and blurbs as little initial flirts, trying to garner the quick glance of your readers. If you want them to stick around and buy you a drink, have an RSS feed handy and easy to spot. Consider it a wink and a smile.