Some vendor blogs could use polish

Some vendor blogs could use some improvements, including those from CA, Cisco, Nortel and Verisign.

1. Is the blog site easy to find from the company's home page? NO

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

3. Number of blogs: FIVE

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? FEEDBACK IS SCARCE

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES

Cisco

You won't get much product information here that couldn't be found in press releases. The real jewel is Cisco's High Tech Policy Blog, which chronicles the government's approach to patent reform, telecom regulation, open trade and a host of other topics.

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? USUALLY

3. Number of blogs: NINE

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? SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK

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

Nortel

Nortel has two blogs, including one authored by CTO John Roese. In late July, Roese discussed the future of wireless technology in the enterprise, including the impact of the 802.11n standard. But there were just seven posts in Roese's blog from July to mid-September, and one of the most useful came from a guest contributor who answered reader questions about Nortel's 4G wireless strategy.

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: TWO

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

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

6. How often are blogs updated? ALMOST 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

Verisign

VeriSign has six blogs but doesn't seem to have captured much attention from readers. Four of the blogs accept comments, but almost no one responds to the blog postings. Product marketing executive Tim Callan uses his blog largely to link to new press releases and boast about which customers are deploying VeriSign products.

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? MOSTLY PR

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 (five bloggers allow comments; one does not)

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

9. Are there links to outside sites? YES

10. Can you subscribe? YES


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