Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 7
       

Beyond Blogs

In a previous newsletter (see article “Pitching Blogs”), we discussed the opportunities inherent in the interactive Web medium. Taking the interactive approach to the next level, many companies are now finding an active community of participants through their own Web pages.

Let's face it. Most people now understand that the corporate Web site should be more than an electronic brochure. Granted, the largest use by far of the Internet today is for research and entertainment, but the shift to a more interactive platform is yielding significant benefits to many early adopters of the new technologies.

It is becoming apparent that giving people the opportunity to respond to your information immediately in a community setting provides much better feedback than circulating surveys or polls. Forums, threaded discussions and Weblogs are emerging as the vehicle of choice for content-rich Web sites looking to spark interactive discussion.

An excellent article on this new and exciting opportunity in the Columbia Journalism Review (view full article ) argues that readers of information on Web sites very often have more insight into the subject than the authors!

The key issue is how to bring Internet visitors into the conversation. Newer database-driven Web sites are making this easier all of the time. What used to be difficult at best - finding appropriate information and a way to respond to it - is now becoming intuitive.

Companies that offer this type of forum receive many benefits. First of all, valuable market research and feedback crucial to strategy can be derived from posts by your most valuable contributors - your clients. Second, active participation by media members can drive existing relationships to new levels, while forging entirely new relationships. Third, the opportunity to float ideas or concepts by the community without high expense and extracurricular staff can be a blessing in itself.