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Jonathan Edwards at Yankee Group just did a study on corporate blogs.

Conclusion? This blog has mojo.

(Well, there were a few other things in there, but this is absolutely the most important fact.)

Discussion-Oriented Blogs
The most successful and influential dialogue-focused bloggers in the blogosphere are constantly aware of the happenings in their industry and beyond. Their content resonates in the market because it is timely and topical. They also dedicate significant time not only to writing posts, but also to researching, responding to comments and participating in discussions on other blogs. Furthermore, there are intangible traits that are characteristic of the most successful conversational bloggers that companies will find difficult to identify and enact. For example, Sunbelt Software president and blogger Alex Eckelberry thinks that to be successful in the blogosphere, “You need the mojo to do it.” In a lot of ways, blogging is a popularity contest, and the ability to convey a strong personality will spark interest and drive traffic.

Blogs such as Eckelberry’s and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog are prime examples of blogs with strong personality. Blogs of this type are difficult to establish and such status is difficult to maintain, but according to Eckelberry, “Sunbelt was put on the map within 6 months of the blog being out there.” Eckelberry asserts the keys to his blogging success are creating highly personalized conversations and delivering interesting content consistently. The value derived from blogs of this type is primarily brand improvement, personification and evangelization.

Hosting community discussions that target specific audiences will attract those audiences if they deliver the niche desired content—with or without mojo. Think of a box office hit compared with a cult classic film:

• The box office hit blog: A blog with significant mojo such as Eckelberry’s and Schwartz’s blogs will attract readers of all kinds—similar to how a box office hit movie attracts a larger and more diverse audience than a niche genre film. Everyone in the industry reads and knows these types of blogs.

• The cult-classic blog: Corporate blogs such as Intel’s IT@Intel can be thought of as cult classics because the content they deliver and the conversations surrounding that content involves a niche audience. The IT@Intel blog targets IT shops and functions as a platform for IT professionals to discuss best practices and address problems. Like a cult classic, blogs of this type attract a relatively small audience, but one that is passionate about the subject matter that particularly pertains to its interests.

(This study has to be purchased from Yankee Group, so I’m sorry I can’t post the full thing.)

Alex Eckelberry