The meme of “Corporate Web Site As A Blog” is going around – and I like it. While this has been popular for individuals for a while (e.g. www.feld.com) – it’s starting to happen with companies. Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham did this recently with their site at Union Square Ventures and Matt Blumberg just launched a new Return Path web site organized around a blog – launched with a post on Matt’s blog about why Return Path did this.
A friend of mine emailed me suggesting that a blog was a lousy basis for a web site – that instead I should be using traditional CMS tools because it’d be easier to control and tune the formatting. I vociferously disagreed with him – I think the brilliance of organizing a corporate web site around a blog is that you can transform what has turned into largely static brochureware into a vibrant and ever changing articulation of a company. As I sit in a hotel room in Boston, all I need to do is type my new content (into Blogjet in my case) and hit post when I’m done – my blog deals with the rest. In addition – if one is bold enough to leave comments on, you can even turn it into a conversation with your constituency. Now, you can configure CMS systems to behave this way, but why bother.
I’ve noticed recently that the only page that regularly changes on a typical corporate web site is the news / press release page (and – btw – where are the RSS feeds for these pages – if I want to know about what is going on at your company, make it easy for me.) As Matt and Fred have artfully said, they want to incorporate the dynamic nature of their businesses and the markets in which they participate into their web site in order to communicate more effectively what they are doing and engage in a conversation with anyone who is interested in them.
While there is a self-referential characteristic to this (USV invests in companies in this ecosystem, Return Path provides services to email marketers), this is a noble experiment that – as far as I’m concerned – has so far been extremely well executed by all involved.