Some vendor blogs keep readers engaged

Some vendor blogs fall below the top tier but are worth reading, including those from Dell, EMC, IBM, Novell and Symantec.

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: ONE BLOG, MANY CONTRIBUTORS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? USEFUL

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives?  RARELY

6. How often are blogs updated? ALMOST DAILY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

EMC

You won't learn much about new products EMC has in the pipeline from the company's blogs, which are restricted primarily to high-ranking executives at the software and storage vendor. But you will get unique analysis of pressing issues facing the IT industry. Chief Development Officer Mark Lewis uses his blog for deep-dive examinations of storage issues important to customers. EMC's associate general counsel, Andrew Cohen, blogs about industrywide compliance issues and trends, but sometimes goes months without posting new material.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: SIX

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? PRODUCT INFO SCARCE

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? WEEKLY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? SOMETIMES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

IBM

IBM impresses with its variety. There's some shameless public relations, with blog titles such as "Microsoft FUD vs. IBM Customer Value" and "Proud to be an IBMer." But the IBM developer-Works blog page offers loads of information on such techie topics as service-oriented architecture, IT security and writing code.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: DOZENS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? MOSTLY PR

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? DAILY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Novell

Novell offers numerous product-specific blogs, focusing on such systems as the Open Enterprise Server, openSUSE and ZENworks. The ZENworks blog offers specific information on where to find patches, how-to guides and updates on beta products. CTO Jeff Jaffe offers a high-level view of Novell's approach to Linux operating systems.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: DOZENS

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? OFTEN USEFUL

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? YES

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Symantec

Symantec's Security Response Weblog is a good source of information for security concerns, with links to Microsoft patches and various news stories. Bloggers provide some topical analysis - such as an explanation of why the iPhone has a small attack surface. Symantec has a separate page for bloggers devoted to enterprise topics, such as file-server growth and green technology.

Scorecard:

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? YES

2. Are bloggers identified human beings who are not in public relations? YES

3. Number of blogs: MORE THAN A DOZEN

4. Is IT product information useful, or mostly just public relations? MIXED BAG

5. Is there high-level discussion of issues important to IT executives? YES

6. How often are blogs updated? ALMOST DAILY

7. Is feedback accepted and displayed? YES (BUT NOT ON SECURITY BLOG)

8. Do bloggers reply to feedback in a timely manner? FEEDBACK IS RARE

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES


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