Monday, August 11, 2008

Introducing: The Company Blog Checkup Top 10!

Last summer, I decided to launch the Company Blog Checkup series. Originally, I looked at each blog's content, how they encouraged and replied to reader comments, and how frequently the blog published new posts. I would later start examining the blog's sidebar elements as well.

But what I noticed that there really wasn't a way to see which blog was 'grading' better or worse than the others. So in May of this year, I decided to add a scoring system that judges each blog on four criteria:

1 - Content, what the bloggers write about (35 points)
2 - Comments, how many comments the blog receives, and how the bloggers reply to comments from readers (35 points)
3 - Posting schedule, how often and regularly new posts appear on the blog (15 points)
4 - Sidebars, the information contained on the sidebars (15 points)

The scores for each area are then added to total a possible 100 points. Now if I had been thinking, I would have added the scoring system from the start. As it stood, I didn't score any of the blogs that I reviewed from May 2007 to May of this year. Which made me wonder, would Dell's blog grade higher than Patagonia's? Or was Daily Thoughts the best blog I had reviewed so far? I really didn't know.

So today I went back and scored all the blogs that have been reviewed so far in the Company Blog Series (two blogs have been deleted since I reviewed them). Doing so, we can now rank the blogs based on their overall scores, as well as the top blogs for content, comments, posting schedule, and sidebars.

So here they are, the Top 10 Company Blogs! After the Top 10 blogs based on overall scores, I have ranked the Top 5 blogs based on Content, Comments, Posting Schedule, and Sidebars. Each list will be updated as future blogs are reviewed that have higher overall or category scores.

Top 10 Company Blogs Overall(Possible 100 points)

1 - Fiskars' The Fiskateers Blog(Review) - 89
2 - HomeGoods' Openhouse Blog(Review) - 88
3 - Turkey Hill's Ice Cream Journal Blog(Review) - 87
3 - Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts Blog(Review) - 87
5 - Graco Blog (Review) - 83
6 - Southwest Airlines' Nuts About Southwest Blog(Review) - 81
7 - Dell's Direct2Dell(Review) Blog - 79
8 - Stacks and Stacks' Clutter Control Freak Blog(Review) - 77
8 - Coca Cola's Conversations Blog(Review) - 77
10 - Patagonia's The Cleanest Line Blog(Review) - 76
10 - Mahindra Tractors' Life of a Farm Blog(Review) - 76

Top 5 Company Blogs based on Content(Possible 35 points)

1 - Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts Blog(Review) - 35
2 - Newcastle Square Realty Blog(Review) - 34
3 - Patagonia's The Cleanest Line Blog(Review) - 33
3 - Coca Cola's Conversations Blog(Review) - 33
3 - Fandango's Freshly Popped, The Movie Blog(Review) - 33

Top 5 Company Blogs based on Comments(Possible 35 points)

1 - Mahindra Tractors' Life of a Farm Blog(Review) - 34
2 - HomeGoods' OpenHouse Blog(Review) - 32
2 - Fiskars' The Fiskateers Blog(Review) - 32
4 - Turkey Hill's The Ice Cream Journal Blog(Review) - 30
5 - Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts Blog(Review) - 29

Top 5 Company Blogs based on Posting Schedule(Possible 15 points)

1 - Fiskar's The Fiskateers Blog(Review) - 15
1 - Southwest Airlines' Nuts about Southwest Blog(Review) - 15
1 - Chronicle Books Blog (Review) - 15
4 - Kodak's A Thousand Words Blog(Review) - 14
4 - Dell's Direct2Dell Blog(Review) - 14
4 - Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts Blog(Review) - 14
4 - Graco Blog(Review) - 14

Top 5 Company Blogs based on Sidebars(Possible 15 points)

1 - HomeGoods' Openhouse Blog(Review) - 15
2 - Turkey Hill's Ice Cream Journal Blog(Review) - 13
2 - The Corner Violin Shop's Blog(Review) - 13
2 - Wal-Mart's Checkout Blog(Review) - 13
5 - Stacks and Stacks' Clutter Control Freak Blog(Review) - 12

Congrats to Fiskar's The Fiskateers Blog for getting the highest overall score, and congrats to Innocent Drinks' Daily Thoughts Blog for being ranked in the Top 5 in three of the four categories, and tied for #3 overall. These rankings will be updated as I grade future company blogs. For a list and scores of all the blogs I have profiled so far in the Company Blog Checkup series, click here. If you would like to have a custom Company Blog Checkup created for your blog, you can get more information on the services I provide here.


Cornpoppy said...

Tom from Kodak here. Glad to make the list for publishing schedule. We have posted every business day since Sept. 2006. Perhaps we should throttle back and focus on some of those other areas! ;-)
fyi - We are blogging direct from Beijing during the Olympics. You might want to check out the three different themes we have going - with great pix in all of course! Kodak Olympic content/blogs.

Anonymous said...

I'm really happy to see innocent drinks with such a good ranking. They have a great product and IMO, their blog is everything a company blog should be.

And from what I heard, it's also a fantastic company to work for :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this top 10. Your reviews sound really clear and useful for companies.
Since you did all that work, do you know if any of these companies connected their blogging effort to their CRM program to get any idea of the ROI? I'm saying that because stand alone blogging don't give any info on value added for business (customer recruitment, increase of the shopping cart, loyalty, ...).
Would be great to have these info.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome, Mack. It provides essential context to each ranking. Glad to see it.

Amber said...

Mack - for the piles of content on there about what companies should NOT do in social media, I'm so grateful for such a comprehensive resource on what's working! Thanks for putting all the time and effort into such a valuable post.

Mack Collier said...

Tom thanks for replying, and LOVED the pics up from Beijing! That's the best selling tool you have for Kodak cameras, the pictures themselves!

Philippe, Daily Thoughts is the most 'fun' blog I have seen so far. They obviously have a strong connection with their blog's readers.

Romain it's always tough to get ROI from blogging and/or social media efforts. For example, Dell has tracked that negative blog mentions about the company has fallen from 49% during Dell Hell, to right at 20% now. They are positive this is greatly due to their reaching out to bloggers and because of Direct2Dell, but they can't directly 'prove' the impact it's had on their bottom line. Masi's Brand Manager Tim Jackson has noted that the company has seen sales surge since he started blogging, but can't prove that SM has directly impacted the bottom line.

But I think the fact that most companies are staying committed to their blogging efforts, says they feel it's helping them. Stonyfield Farms, for example, has been blogging since 2004. Kodak has hired a Chief Blogger, Dell has significantly expanded its blogging efforts. I don't think these companies could justify this type of commitment internally, unless they were seeing some positive results.

Amber and Cam, thanks! It did take several hours to put this together, but I did want it to be a resource. I wanted a company that's thinking 'Ok our blog gets no comments, what is Life of a Farm or The Fiskateers Blog doing?' to be able to look at those blogs and maybe get some ideas on how to improve their own efforts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for recognizing the Fiskateer Blog! They are a great community of passionate crafters.
It has been a privilege to get to know and work with the Fiskars movement.

Carrie at Brains on Fire.

Anonymous said...

Wow. How cool to see the Fiskateers here on your list. Thank you for taking the time out and sharing your list with us. It's exciting! I've had the blessing of being a founding Fiskateer and seeing the community begin and grow. Prior to the launch of the Fiskateers I didn't blog and it's been such an enjoyable part of being a lead Fiskateer. Thanks for the recognition and for your efforts.

Tim Jackson said...

One day I'll make these lists Mack... one day...

Anonymous said...

Hey Mack,

How about doing this Checkup for B2B Companies?

Phil Mooney said...

Mack - Thanks so much for including my blog, I'm thrilled to be among the top 10, and glad what I'm writing made it to the top 5 for content! I'll keep working on the blog so it can be included in all of your lists next time! Thanks -- Phil Mooney

Mack Collier said...

mchimes, I plan on doing a few B2B companies in the coming weeks in the Company Blog Checkup series. Did you have any particular blogs that you'd like to see reviewed?

Carrie, Cheryl, Tim and Phil, thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Great post Mack! When you get a chance you should take a look at Chronicle Books' blog, which while pretty simple has a great design and really interesting content.

Mack Collier said...

Anon thanks for the link, have added Chronicle's blog to my list of blogs that will be reviewed in the Company Blog Checkup series later this year!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great lists and great scoring system. It's an honor to be ranked in the top 10 overall (and just for writing about ice cream!). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great idea and very interesting list. I would like to see a Top 10 nonprofit blog list. I'm not sure if our blog -- CPA Exam Cram -- would make the cut, but it would be interesting to see a ranking of blogs that promote a cause (in our case taking the CPA Exam) instead of a company.

cluttercontotrol said...

So glad CCFB made your list!
You have provided some good insight for me - thanks.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Mack thank you so much for your encouragment for the HomeGoods Openhouse blog. I am one of the original bloggers. It has been a blast, and having the site make your list has absolutely made my day. Deb