We Leave with Nothing but Love


Apparently I am a true fan of blogging.
March 24, 2009, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Business, College Classes., Economy, God, Living

Preface: Don’t mind the misused block quotes or even the silliness of much of this paper. But appreciate the audacity of an inexperienced blogger.

Business Blogging, the Smart Choice:

The benefits of blogging for business Entities

            In a world of cyber net cafes, online forums, and internet shopping, consumers have high expectations for producers. A quick Google search of Panera will result in blog pages for Panera customers to interact over the web. One blogger included in the web page headline: “Let’s blog the stupid/quirky/funny/mundane things people do at Panera. Please join me if you’re at Panera and bored or just need to tell someone how much you inexplicably love broccoli cheddar soup like me” (Panera Blog).  This web site is an example of a business benefiting from an internet competitive advantage. New generations, immersed in the facebook genre, comfortably find most information by browsing through a search engine and easy links. In order for consumer needs to be met thoroughly, the producer must consider the effective mediums of internal and external communication, where information senders equip their message with the information that receivers are able to receive. As a promotional trend, blogging has become an effective strategic tool to stimulate product development and improve communication between producers and consumers. Therefore, by utilizing internet blogging, businesses create sustainable relationships by improving communication among employees and customers. Blogging benefits internal and external operations by sharing ideas, controlling quality, and disseminating information.

 

Sharing Ideas

            Blogging is an effect method of sharing ideas, despite the seemingly unprofessional impression that internet discussions sometimes cause. Some businesses must filter through negative content from the bloggers’ comments to avoid any negative impressions. When a company experiences a large layoff rate, the employees quickly spread complaints and negative information to other users. However, the discouraging elements do not discredit the necessity of using Web 2.0 for communication. Anyone who is able to keep up with changing technologies may contribute to a business communication elite. Reynolds shares that “the changing technology will also create new elites. This is true because some old institutions… will not adapt quickly enough to the new way of doing things. Any institution that depends on a monopoly of information is doomed” (Reynolds 37). Some business entities are unable to properly cater to their blogging consumers when their web sites are not up to par, causing distrust and disrespect form their new media-junkie-customers.

            Even the businesses whose customers are older, less technologically advanced groups must solidify their future by integrating new media into their communication methods for the benefit of future audiences. For internal purposes, businesses ought to have efficient methods of communication to hear employees’ feedback. If a corporation headquarters is making significant changes that will impact employees, blogs and live internet feeds are helpful to update the employees on such changes. Business Communication Quarterly quotes an Australian interviewee who shares, “I benefited tremendously from creating and contributing to my company blogs. I went to Malaysia for my Technology Consulting Training. I decided to share my learning with colleagues in my organization posting a summary of the knowledge in particular in the area of Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) which I learnt. My information has been well-shared in the organization and has also solicited new information such as industry examples of… technological solutions” (qtd. in Zhang, Zhu, and Hildebrandt 117). Thus, blogging can be informative for large numbers of people, while simultaneously allowing them to interact and respond to updates.

            Although companies find problems with the information spreading to the wrong people, the internet is beneficial for quick clarification. Furthermore, the blog may provide quicker statistics for corporation elites to hear the needs of employees. Another benefit to constant, updated information through blogs is the ability for consumers to witness all the thoughts and interactions within the entity. Such widespread thought increases the company’s brand name and image, and they are allowed a personal, accessible source of information.

Controlling the Quality of Products and Services

            Corporations who wish to measure the success of temporary initiatives find it difficult to gage consumer opinions. Xiaoli Nan and Kwangjun Heo explore the results of marketing strategies, disclosing the difficulties of corporate initiatives. Without any direct communication from consumers, the entities find it “hard to draw any conclusions with regard to the effects of [cause-related marketing] on consumer responses without a standard of comparison. For instance, it is not readily clear whether an ad with a [cause-related marketing] component could elicit significantly more positive consumer reactions relative to a similar ad without the [cause-related marketing] message” (64). If the corporation breeds blogging communities of their consumers, the corporation has the potential to find their customers’ input directly, responding to one another and to questions which the corporation may propose via blog.

            Simplified internet communication is used as a means for controlling the quality of the business’s products and services. Online surveys have become a major source of feedback from customers who want to see any sort of change in the company. Other recent projects have improved the success of blogging to improve customer input and reviews to give customers opportunity to test products and services vicariously through the blogger. When companies send out messages, they must strategize to give users and customers the confidence to trust their product. Companies want to sustain their competitive advantage by supporting their own products by gaining positive reviews. By offering incentives such as internet access, companies should aim to achieve the greatest benefits of communication. If done well, they have the potential to collaborate a masterpiece of products and services. The most influential customers require that the company speak their internet language. Consumers who are familiar with competitive web aesthetics expect much from entities.

            Often consumers look at blogs for consumer opinions on special products or services offered by companies. Josh Bernoff mentions Kmart, Sears, Panasonic and Ford in an article about blogging for believable reviews on products. When an active mother decided to blog about her experiences using a Ford vehicle, the readers’ responses showed that “transparency and disclosure are crucial- and that her posts are only believable because Ford doesn’t dictate or review editorial content” (qtd. in Bernoff 1). Ford used a customer’s blog to create trust among Ford’s customers.

Effective Internet Communication

            In order for any communication medium to be effective, it must contain all the elements a mind can recognize and cognitively process. The thousands of classes of communication medium is altered when people begin to rely solely on impersonal internet contact. Without the physical presence of the person, or the vibrations of noise in the air, the communicator must be sure to support his/her ideas thoroughly. Thus, the first rule for an effective transaction of information, as Rudy Bretz states in the Taxonomy of Communication Media, “The system must be capable of conveying a complete message; it must be self-contained and self-supporting” (64). Therefore if a web site is going to feature a blog, they must provide all basic information about the company in order to avoid confusion from external users.

            Bretz’s other rules describe the necessity for the communication media to be capable of reproducing the message in the same of another form simultaneously in a different place. It must provide information in a unique fashion and using technology that users know how to experience. One may infer from his advice that internet and web 2.0 add value to the cyber world as blog users navigate through widgets, blogreels, credit card payments, shopping bags, intricate commenting, and tags. Blogging is therefore a beneficial communication medium, and new generations of information sharers are becoming more familiar with the internet than any other medium.

            In his evaluation of the use of computers for instructional communication, Bretz notes an interesting concern. He limit’s the function of computers by saying that they “never will be able to perform as well as a human. One of these [ways] is the evaluation of unanticipated learner responses, and another is personal attention. Here, humanists believe that the machine can have little effectiveness.” Good internet blogging, however, has mitigated most of this problem, since words can be transmitted almost as quickly as instant messages, and information sharers may discuss issues through comments and responses.

Theological Implications of Web Communication

            Christian bloggers face many barriers when attempting to maintain ethical standards and meet customer needs through web site communication. Companies who share information with users, consumers, and investors through internet blogging must be aware of the potential misinformation that could ethically disturb the company’s integrity. As live performances may be altered by the performer to protect clarity of the message, blogging provides a balance between live performance and published text. Internet expert John Mark Reynolds describes with this illustration: “A teacher can leave out key material in a lecture if she suspects that it might be misused by a student in the class. Meanwhile, the manual sits waiting for the terrorists to find information on weapons of mass destruction, and inappropriate entertainment waits for children to find it. There is no way for a book to monitor who picks it up” (Reynolds 29). Conversely, a blog is monitored and updated to dialogue with readers’ and relieve their misunderstandings.

            The company must maintain the qualities of face-to-face, or other personal interaction. Much of the power of spoken word is lost when the words are transmitted through a web page. Through overwhelming amounts of advertisements and spam, many people have come to misunderstand the meaning behind words on a web page. When bloggers have the potential to read and respond to company posts, whether they are employees of the company or merely consumers, the blogging controller must act as a intermediary, protecting readers from misinterpretation. While maintaining integrity of goodwill in the market, companies have the advantage of increased accountability with so m any people aware of the issues they are discussing.

            Internet users who are ethically aware face boundaries of immorally impersonal implications. They must attempt to understand these methods of new media within the broader perspective of the human good. The future of useful business blogging is maintained by the honest businessmen who are capable of bringing consumers the information they need. Communication ought not to lose the power of words through a façade of falsity when transmitted through web sites, and it is the responsibility of blog controllers to maintain the astuteness of the company site by holding the standards of words. When the prophet Jeremiah is called by God to speak to the people of Israel, God tells him not to be afraid of their faces (King James Version, Jer. 1:8). The speaker dominates attention when he/she is physically present while speaking to the audience.

            Internet users must also be aware of the communication boundaries between people and with God. Often through blogs or unprofessional internet environments, Christians find that those boundaries lack attention, and must be redefined. People easily lose depth or philosophical-theological priorities when dissuaded by the simplicity of internet communication. In Communication, Media, and Identity Robert Fortner explains the power of communication as a symbol, or a “vehicle for creating and sustaining intimacy. It is the means by which people care for one another, share one another’s sorrows, pains, joys, and accomplishments, the method for pointing one another to the creator and his care for the world…” (Fortner 65). However individuals choose to speak, whether business-like, in-person or through blogging, every word presents an opportunity to share experience with others.

Conclusion

            When business entities attempt to maintain and restore communication standards with their customers and employees, they ought to follow elitist technological advancements.  Producers and consumers interpret well-presented messages. The aesthetics of a web page will effectively communicate to users that the company understands their needs. When a company uses popular internet trends to communicate, people comfortably learn and respond to the presented information. When the ethical standards of the company are maintained, with no false advertisements or misdirection, the company has increased potential for effectively communicating the company’s moral standards. Whether business-oriented or theological, blogs offer immediate interaction among like-minded people and disseminate useful information to users.

Works Cited

Bernoff, Josh. “Be More Than An Ad, Get In The Conversation.” Marketing News 43.4 (15 Mar. 2009): 18-18. Business Source Elite. EBSCO. Biola University, La Mirada, CA, 17 Mar. 2009

Bretz, Rudy. A Taxonomy of Communication Media. Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications, 1971.

Fortner, Robert S. Communication, Media, and Identity : A Christian Theory of Communication. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, Incorporated, 2007.

King James Version. Bible.

Nan, Xiaoli, and Kwangjun Heo. “Consumer Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives.” Journal of Advertising Summer 2007 36 (2007): 63-74.

Panera Blog. April 30, 2005. Google Blogspot. February 24, 2009.

Reynolds, John Mark, and Roger Overton. The New Media Frontier : Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ. New York: Crossway Books, 2008.

Zhang, Allee M; Yanxia Zhu; and Herbert Hildebrandt. “Enterprise Networking Web Sites and Organizational Communication in Australia.” Business Communication Quaterly March (2009): 114-119.

Advertisements