I used to run a series here on Better Business Blogging called Spotlight on UK Blogs where I’d link to business focused blogs based in the UK which had caught my attention. The aim was to show a cross section of what people and businesses were writing about and how they approached the task of using blogs in their business activities. As a result, the posts contained a mix of Blogs displaying a range of topics and styles.
I haven’t written one for a while but there has been such an upturn in the use of blogging for business over the past year that I feel a return for the series is long overdue and so will be starting again next weekend.
As an intro, and because it is particularly relevant in the current economic climate that we all find ourselves, there’s one that I’d like to draw your attention to ahead of this. It’s also one that I have been following avidly over the last couple of months simply because of the sort of information it has been offering. The blog in question is Peston’s Picks written by the BBC’s economic editor, Robert Peston.
So why do I think that this is a good example of a blog? I think because it goes back to the core elements of clear writing and pertinent topics, couple with excellent use of the immediacy of the web. Specifically, it offers to us as readers:
- Authority: whether it’s direct reported information or informed opinion, you get the feeling from the blog that this where you need to go to get the low down on the subject at hand;
- Instant access to news: when I’m looking for an up to date view on the latest situation in the financial markets or general economy then I know that I’m likley to find it here first;
- Clean format: the short paragraphs and clean text doesn’t distract the reader away from the information being displayed, while the overall format gives a clear branding message while still making it clearly RP’s;
- Encourages Debate: no matter whether it is because of the topics covered or the way that they are covered, the posts encourage comments and discussion, which then duly arrive!;
- Informed opinion and trust: this comes clearly across as an expert writing about a subject area that knows intimately. As such it helps develop trust in both him and the information he provides;
- Encourages further reading: the use of the sidebar encourages further reading of the blog and, just as importantly, makes it easy to do so.
- Authentic voice – when I read the words I can hear Robert Peston delivering them. That adds to both the experience online and when we see him elsewhere
Are these what we should be looking for in every blog? No, not necessarily. Every blog has a different goal and hopefully uses what a blog format and technology can offer to help achieve them. However, as I’ve often said before, it’s not the technology which makes a blog, it’s the content; and here, I feel that the content delivers on all counts, allowing the blog to then do its job too!