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What is going on in the blogosphere: an exploratory study of how consumers and companies use weblogs in the marketing and communication process




Ronto, Paul, author
Switzer, Jamie, advisor
Champ, Joseph, committee member
Cannon, Joseph, committee member

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In the past few years weblogs have become a major channel for publishing content over the Internet. With the popularity of social media as a medium to communicate with consumers, companies around the world have started using weblogs as part of their communication strategy. However there remains a void of literature on company blogging, and users still do not have a solid understanding of how and why both consumers and companies are using this tool. This is an exploratory study into the world of company blogging, and it aims to add some insight as to what is going on in the blogosphere. Qualitative interviews were conducted with participants representing both the company and consumer perspective. The results indicate that although some companies believe having a blog is important, this belief is based more on blind faith in the medium than actual measurable data. The companies studied showed that their blogging strategy was very casual and the actual benefits to the company or consumer needs were not taken into account. From the consumer perspective, blogs were viewed as a tool to gather information and a place where a consumer would hopefully receive some sort of value for their time. More research needs to be done on why companies are utilizing this tool as well as why consumers are following company blogs to possibly determine a better way for companies to engage consumers through the medium.


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