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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Corporate Web Site As A Blog

Comments (12)

The meme of “Corporate Web Site As A Blog” is going around – and I like it.  While this has been popular for individuals for a while (e.g. www.feld.com) – it’s starting to happen with companies.  Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham did this recently with their site at Union Square Ventures and Matt Blumberg just launched a new Return Path web site organized around a blog – launched with a post on Matt’s blog about why Return Path did this.

A friend of mine emailed me suggesting that a blog was a lousy basis for a web site – that instead I should be using traditional CMS tools because it’d be easier to control and tune the formatting.  I vociferously disagreed with him – I think the brilliance of organizing a corporate web site around a blog is that you can transform what has turned into largely static brochureware into a vibrant and ever changing articulation of a company. As I sit in a hotel room in Boston, all I need to do is type my new content (into Blogjet in my case) and hit post when I’m done – my blog deals with the rest. In addition – if one is bold enough to leave comments on, you can even turn it into a conversation with your constituency.  Now, you can configure CMS systems to behave this way, but why bother.

I’ve noticed recently that the only page that regularly changes on a typical corporate web site is the news / press release page (and – btw – where are the RSS feeds for these pages – if I want to know about what is going on at your company, make it easy for me.)  As Matt and Fred have artfully said, they want to incorporate the dynamic nature of their businesses and the markets in which they participate into their web site in order to communicate more effectively what they are doing and engage in a conversation with anyone who is interested in them. 

While there is a self-referential characteristic to this (USV invests in companies in this ecosystem, Return Path provides services to email marketers), this is a noble experiment that – as far as I’m concerned – has so far been extremely well executed by all involved. 

  • http://www.tomorrowconnecting.biz Mike

    Nice one, Brad. I guess the really non-techie, simple question to ask is: Is there anything corporates cannot achieve with a blog that they would achieve with their (a) more ‘traditional’ static-content site?

  • http://adventures-in-business-communications.blogsite.com Dee Rambeau

    Brad,
    I respectfully submit http://www.mediaroom.com a product which my company DVCO Technology built and is selling exclusively through PR Newswire to its client. Each corporate mediaroom has RSS feeds of its news releases. I agree that it is a long time coming, but you need to be patient with traditional PR folks…they’re not the quickest adopters of new technology. That said, we’ve got hundreds of clients using the service, many of which are represented on mediaroom.com and I’m comfortable saying that they’ve all had tremendous reponses from the journalists that follow them.

  • http://texasvc.weblogswork.com/?p=325 Texas Venture Capital Web 2.0 Blog

    Corporate Website as a Blog

    Several weeks ago we migrated the M | Ventures website and my blog, Texas VC, into a single site (i.e. you are on it) that is housed on WordPress.  Weblogs Work blogged about it here.
    Architel, one of our companies, is in the process of migra…

  • http://southerncrossventures.com Daniel Nerezov

    Yep. Blogs will replace corporate websites. We invested in hotbusinessblog.com to prove the point.

    A whole industry has grown around to evangelize business blogging, for very important reasons which all entrepreneurs should understand.

    Speaking of entrepreneurs, if you’re running running a small business, pushing pez dispensers on Ebay or doing the tax returns for people in the neighbourhood- you’d have to be nuts to spend thousands of bucks on webdesigners, hosting and the associated headaches. Just get a blog.

    Besides, by blogging you; brand and diffrenciate your business, develop a conversation with web traffic to qualify and convert prospects, are friendly to Google so people can find you, plus a gazillion of other not so shabby things.

    Debbie Weil is the expert on business blogging.

    Websites are dead. Long live the blog.

  • http://www.ueland.com Chris Ueland

    Word of the day :-) – “vociferously”

    vo·cif·er·ous adj / vo·cifer·ous·ly adv. /
    vo·cifer·ous·ness n.

    Synonyms: vociferous, blatant, boisterous, strident, clamorous

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=vociferously%20

  • http://del.icio.us/tfrancis Taylor

    Nice post.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while, ever since USV launched their revamped website. Transforming a corporate website completely into a blog takes away one of the most vital aspects of what corp websites should be — instant info.

    But a blog for companies, VC firms, schools, anything, should be a vital and core staple in communicating with the rest of the world. Isn’t that what corporate websites are for? Creating connections.

    Blogs don’t replace that vital connection, but offer an important supplement, adding the next dimension of publishing the oh-so-critical conversation.

  • http://www.neocarta.com Jarrett Collins

    Great post, Brad… Blogs as corporate websites (or is it the other way around?) have a much more vibrant feel to them than the old static kind. I forwarded your post to a friend who is writing a book, btw, since I think this is absolutely the model *authors* in particular should adopt. A good example of such a site is Daniel Pink’s, btw (www.danpink.com), complete with a picture of his book — A Whole New Mind — at the top of the page. (Easier to find the book when browsing the shelves at Barnes & Noble, no?) Anyway, I think you’re definitely “on trend” with your thesis here…

  • http://www.editsite.net/ Ilkka Huotari

    I would say it depends on the type of business. Some may need a blog (VC’s) some a more static site and some can combine. And you can get any type of site done as easily as a blog, there shouldn’t be any extra headaches attached to different types of sites, with a service like http://www.editsite.net/

  • http://www.hitflip.de Jan Miczaika

    Blogs won’t replace corporate web sites for small businesses. They are good for businesses, like VCs, which live off the work of just a few people.

    When thinking about the problems small business have, things like acquiring websites/programming/updating their content were mentioned. These can be solved by a hosted CMS, like Homesite.

    Large corporations typically provide services and transactions over a website, which preclude blog-formats. Besides, large corporations are more than just the CEO.

    What is new about blogs, is an individual speaking, rather than some authorless description of the website.

    This may be adopted by some business, but generally only those driven by single (or a few) individuals.

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