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What Value is a Corporate Blogger

We are not even half way through the week, and the blogging world is a buzz with some recent developments of bloggers moving from their full time jobs to go into the world of startups. Rober Scoble recently left Microsoft, and Om Malik has decided to become only a contributing editor for Business 2.0 magazine. These are major shifts, and Business Week was left wondering: what is a corporate blogger worth?
Honestly, I knew Om Malik was doing something, but I never looked into what his job actually was. I just loved reading his site, so for Business 2.0 it did not help me want to get their magazine, but for Microsoft, you have a whole different story. Scoble was a big cheerleader for Microsoft, and I knew his connection with them. Many say he helped humanize the company, and give it a personality that it severly needed.
I love what Business Week says on the whole situation as these big names move onto working for startups:

It’s a bit of a paradox. The Internet has brought astounding tools of measurement into countless marketplaces, starting with advertising. And yet, when it comes to measuring the power or effectiveness of an in-house blogger, companies don’t know where to start. How much was Robert Scoble worth to Microsoft? On a bang-per-buck basis, how did he match up to the millions that Microsoft pays for advertising and marketing, both in-house and out? I’d say extremely high. But I don’t think there was any way to measure it.
But the fact remains, most corporations and media outlets haven’t figured out yet how to revamp compensation for the new age. Very few journalists, for example, are evaluated for customer relations. That’s almost sacrilege, the province of the advertising or marketing side of the business. But blogging is blurring the line between these domains. Perhaps the best way to measure the value of bloggers inside the company is to see how they fare when they leave. There’s a growing list of case studies out there.

As I continue to help out on a variety of blogs, I find that people remember the sites doing well or not more than they currently remember me, and so I don’t provide too much of the same customer relations that Rober Scoble and Om Malik provided their respective companies, but that is what made them so great, and probably will make them a big loss for the companies they left.