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April 15, 2008


Ed Terpening, VP Social Media Marketing, Wells Fargo

Hi John,

Thanks for checking our blogs, and your thoughtful review! I agree with your criticisms that we should add more social features. It's more a matter of time/bandwidth then intention to keep things "closed". We did attempt to create a broader blogroll for The Student LoanDown when we launched (almost 2 years now!), but there were (again, at the time), surprisingly few people blogging about financing education. We'll take a second look.


John Bell

Thanks for your coments, Ed. I actually think you guys are doing a great job. Hope that comes across. I love the fact that you have gotten so many people involved. I am amazed at how much you have gotten done.

The skimpy blog roll is a problem that almost all corporate blogs have. I hear what you are saying about a lack of personal finance blogs. Most feel that linking implies some endorsement and just cannot do it. Not sure I agree but I also don't think blogrolls are that important by themselves. Search engine results - now that matters.

Great job!

Mark Dykeman

I'm glad I found your blog - I've been fascinated with this field since the Duncan Watts feature in Fast Company a couple of months ago.

Question: in your opinion, how are Southwest and American Airlines handling their recent plane inspection challenges from a social media point of view? Good, OK, bad?

Unfair question, perhaps: I don't think AA even has a blog.

Chris Baggott

Good post, but I'm curious that you seem to think it's a negative that the bloggers have 'day jobs'.

I'm probably misreading this, but the idea of a staff that focuses on blogging is a lot less effective than organizations that encourage their regular employees to post.

Our general message to our Corporate Blogging clients is that; you hire smart people, they like their jobs, they like the customers, they feel they are doing important work....expose them.

as far as Leveling off...I don't think so. AdAge reported this week that only 20% of the Fortune 500 have any kind of blogging strategy at all. The % is a lot lower in the other 20 million businesses in America.

Social media is telling us one thing: People are tired of dealing with faceless institutions...they want to deal with real, live human beings. Employee and Corporate Blogging is the best way to bring an institution alive and you will see it as part of the core marketing strategy for every organization in the not-to-distant future.

Thanks for the post, and for letting me rant :-)


Chris Baggott
Compendium Blogware

John Bell

mark - great question about Southwest and American - especially in relation to Southwest. They bloogged about Congressional hearings here:
and it became a magnet for 120 or so comments. There is a lot of anger there but I give Southwest lots of credit for letting it unfold on their blog. There are some customers in there coming to their defense.

John Bell

Chris - I, like you, am in favor of empowering employees (like myself) to blog. Full time bloggers are just not that interesting or as valuable. If you read anything into my comments it was more about how hard it is to keep up blogging while doing a full time plus gig. More a 'sigh' than a shaking of the head.

The growth of blogs may level off but the gains will never roll back. I believe the voice of the customer got permanenetly much louder.

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