Lots of companies post uninteresting blogs - but not this crowd! Each of these companies has found a way to be a category killer and stand out. Instead of doing traditional power ranking, I looked for blogs that bring relevant attention to a brand. What can you learn from them?
Most Linked: Google
While it may fall behind the "Stuff white people like" with 37,098 blogs recently posting reactions, Google is the only corporate blog to crack the top 100 blogs as ranked by Technorati's power rating. When it comes to corporate blogs, Google owns re-blogging relevance by multiples. Controlling the economics of the internet is a pretty big platform to speak from and Google's blog dominates the conversation.
Most Outlandish: Go Daddy
Go Daddy is semi-famous for their censored Superbowl ad campaigns. Go-daddy CEO Bob Parson's video blog follows a Hooters-esque approach, with simple advice on internet business mixed with plenty of tank tops and wacky stock footage of grandmothers with automatic rifles to illustrate 'targeting.'
Cooler Than You: 37 Signals
With estimates of over 100k subscribers despite a modest revenues of under (est) 10$M, the 37 signals blog has an outrageous ratio of readers to revenues. Their corporate blog is so cool it has its own ads. My favorite feature is the frequent use of intellectual quotes.
After you invent Ruby on Rails, bash heavily VC-funded users of that framework, create a 100k-user corporate blog using homemade blogging software, and then sneak quotes like these into your posts - maybe you can be cool, too.
Founders Club: Sun Microsystems
Jonathan Schwartz is the most famous CEO blogger in the world; he was the first Fortune 500 CEO to blog. He appeared in an Internet-themed Letterman "Top 10" list. He fought the SEC for the right to announce Sun's earnings first on his blog. Sun now has over 4,500 bloggers hammering out a staggering 110,000 cumulative posts.
Disclaimer: The first blogger CEO didn't last as a CEO.
Zappos headquarters was recently visited by the Scobleizer himself. They have 400 twittering employees. Does it get fresher than a video tour of employee Tattoos complete with the stories behind them? Fresh content comes from the core for Zappos, look into their company tour next time you are in Vegas.
Behind the Scenes: BBC Editors, GM
The BBC editors blog, like Google's, is a great example of telling the story behind the phenomena. When people are already engaged with a brand, letting them peer behind the scenes into the human decisions and perspectives required to create the product can thrill to great effect.
GM's fastlane blog has also excelled at behind-the-scenes stories.
Humanizing: Delta, Southwest
How can Delta and Southwest, two brands with few very consistent product offerings and little to announce, have blogs consistently ranked in the top twenty? Simple, they humanize otherwise mechanical experience of flying and tout the little things they are both doing to help customers enjoy the flight. Its nice to know someone cares about your snacks while your logging another 6 hour coast-to-coast trip.
Best Office Humor: Clearspring Technologies
Hooman Radfar's, CEO of the successful web start-up Clearspring Technologies (Add This, etc) popular Wigify blog recently diverged into a seemingly inane sub-plot between two desktop action figures. What developers love is the symbolic interplay between the coder and the executive side of this CEO expressed in the stories.
1) Great blogs should reveal. Sounds so simple, but its not. One thing all of these blogs have in common is they tell you something interesting about the companies who write them: Bo-Dog’s CEO is just as tacky as his ads–Hooman Radfar is dark and hilarious–Delta puts way too much thought into tiny snacks–Jonathan Schwartz really really wants you to think he is smart–the designers at 37 signals work hard for their Zen through contemplative reading.
Blogs differ from marketing in that they tell you part of the story of a company more than just position and sell its offerings. What interesting facet of your company, product, and staff can your blog revel?