John Cass of Backbone Media, working with Northeastern University’s Walter Carl (and his students), released a Blogging Success Study yesterday. As John explains on his blog, the study features 20 corporate bloggers who “self-selected” themselves as having successful blogs.

Walter Carl is an Assistant Prof. at Northeastern who has been actively studying blogging with his students for the past year or two. (Remember synthetic transparency?) He identified five themes that cut across the results of the study:

Blogging Success Study

Culture: If a company has
particular cultural traits worth revealing or a bad reputation it wants
to repudiate, blogging can be an attractive option.
Critical to establishing credibility and trust with an audience. People
want to see an honest portrayal of a company and know that there are
not ulterior motives behind the blog.
It takes a lot of time to set up, research and write a quality blog.
A company’s ability and willingness to engage in a dialogue with their
customer base about topics that the customer base is interested in is
critical to its blogging success.
Entertaining writing style and personalization:
A blogger’s writing style and how much they are willing to reveal about
their life, experience and opinions brings human interest to a blog,
helps build a personal connection with readers and will keep people
reading. [from Carl’s blog]

Nothing new here, really, but interesting nonetheless for the anecdotes. Carl’s students conducted many of the in-depth interviews. (I included a handful of these blogs in The Corporate Blogging Book, including Stonyfield Farms, Microsoft’s Heather Hamilton, Indium Corp. and Conference Calls Unlimited.)

You can download the study as a PDF (requires name and email to register) or read it online (and leave comments).

Another new blogging study – ?

Nora Barnes at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth told me yesterday that she also has released a new blogging study. I couldn’t find it on her Center for Marketing Research site. I did find her previous study:  Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere: Advice from Established Bloggers.


Nora’s new blog study (“Thinking Like a Blogger”) is published in the first issue of the Journal of Communications Research published by  the Society of New Communications Research. The printed journal is available through LuLu.