Using Blogs to Know What’s Happening Before it Happens

As I write this I’m cringing a little bit thinking that some of you might think of blogs as the online chat sessions of old – something only nuts, cutting edge geeks and society fringe people do. Many of you won’t as you blog also.
Well there’s blogs that are written by people for their own personal lives and then there are business focused blogs that provide great content and have comments.
Businesses that want to keep their finger tuned to the pulse of activity in their industry would be wise to keep note of blogs (not all but a hand picked few) that relate to their industry. The blog writers are important but also those who comment (not the spam comments) on the blog posts – these are your customers.
The New York Times writes “If I were a company, I wouldn’t necessarily make any enormous decisions based just on what people are saying on blogs or messages boards, but it certainly can help point you in the right direction,” said Tim Calkins, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Hewlett-Packard, the computer and technology company, lately has picked up from cyberspace that customers really hate leaving their computers at shops for repairs; far better, the company learned, is having technicians repair the machines in homes. “What that makes us do is that when we think about investing more in that area, we say, yes, it’s positive to do that,” said Rickey Ono, business strategy manager for HP. “We drill into the individual comments and it helps to justify our expenditure on in-home repair.”

Technorati.com is a great tool for finding blogs and keeping track of them.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook