Yesterday, Jupiter Research released figures which they claimed would mean that 70% of large companies would have deployed corporate blogs by the end of this year.

Even if this figure is realised in the US, and I admit to having deep reservations as to whether we will be anywhere near that, this will certainly not be the case in the UK, neither at the SME nor the large corporation end of the spectrum. The initial feedback from my request last week for information on UK based Business Blogs has produced a number of excellent blogs but not the sort of numbers which would indicate anything more than single figure levels of activity within companies.

This does of course mean that there are still huge opportunities for UK organisations willing to embrace blogging & the open discussion and interaction with clients, suppliers, partners and staff that this would involve. Not to mention the increased levels of visibility and business. So what is stopping people? In the MediaGuardian last week, Stephen Brooks in a piece called Blogs struggle to impress in the UK comments on two surveys which conclude that “there is a reserved nature in the British Market when it comes to writing a blog” and that even 30% of heavy internet users have not even heard of Blogs.

I remain unconvinced by the “reserved Brits” epithet although I do recognise that there is a certain caution in the business world when it comes to transparency – though if companies have nothing to hide, I sometimes wonder why this reticence prevails. However, when it comes to Small Businesses (SMEs), potentially the group which has most to gain by using blogging as part of their marketing mix, then I see the issue as one dominated by a lack of information and hence understanding of how blogging can be used.

As this changes, the development is likely to follow the same path as the early days of websites with early adopters making the biggest gains and benefiting most. However, ultimately a blog – or rather a website with blog functionality – will become the norm rather than the exception. But by the end of the year? Well, in the UK, I think that we will still be firmly in the “early adopter” phase but there is no doubt that it is gathering momentum, “reserved Brits” or not.

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