Online Data Backup and Corporate Blogging

This is a good example of a sensible corporate blog post, Online Data Backup [the broken link has been removed, breaking links is not a good practice for any website]. Their blog is fairly staid and impersonal (which is not normal for blogs) but as corporations take up blogging many such blogs are coming into being. blogs began as very personal communication vehicles, but that trait is not required (though completely impersonal blogs do not really seem like blogs at all). The balance between boring, pushy marketing and providing useful information while mentioning your services is a bit tricky and something different people have varying tolerances for.

According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, D.C., 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. Of those companies, 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. A Price Waterhouse Coopers survey calculated that a single incident of data loss costs businesses an average of $10,000.

Even if you are a home user, almost one third of you have lost all of your files due to circumstances beyond your control, like a hard disk drive crash. If you then tried to get a quote from a data recovery service, you likely gasped at the price. An estimate of $2,000 or more is quite common. Why? Because desperate people pay lots of money.

We all know we should backup our data, but most of us continue to put it off for a variety of reasons. It takes too long. We hate shuffling DVDs/CDs in and out. We’re too busy scheduling root canals at our respective dentists. Even if you’re vigilant about copying your data to a second storage location, how many of you, home or business user, can say that you have an off-site backup that will protect you in case of a fire or other natural disaster? I’ll bet good money that the answer is “not many.”

I think this post is successful at walking the balance between marketing and saying something worth reading. I would imagine others would find it too marketing focused. I think one focus a corporate blog needs to take is the purpose of the blog is to provide users useful and interesting information. Within that context highlighting offerings from the company is fine, but if providing value to the blog readers is not seen as the primary focus the blog is not going to be effective.

Also be sure those writing for, and making decisions about, the blog understand the technology and accepted practices of the blogging world. Coming off as some stilted, out-of-touch, outdated organization is probably not going to help the organization. One simple example is many blogs don’t even link out to studies etc. that they reference. This is a very lame practice (one the Lenovo site seems to employ). Such practices are common among those that don’t understand the internet (which is not a group you want to be in if you are publishing a blog). Also, as a reader, be very wary of statistics without context (such as those quoted above without providing links to the full reports).

Also, the blog post makes provides a good reminder, backup is important. This is valuable reminder, because it is an important thing to do, and because it is fairly commonly a weakness. Breathing is important too, but we don’t really need to remind people, they breath without reminders.

Some good corporate blog examples: Dell InnovationAmazon S3 Failure AnalysisManagement Training ProgramToyota’s CommitmentBlogging is Good for YouVisual Instructions Example (Seagate backup drive)

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