Here at ReadWriteWeb we spend a lot of time reading the blogs of companies we write about (send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ve found that some of them are just plain fun. An interesting company blog can be a great way to draw in new people through relevant content of general interest – and some of them will stay to check out the service you provide.
Some companies just blog about updates to their own technology and that’s good for existing users to see. Others are fun to read whether you’re a user or not. Here are some of the company blogs we recommend reading for a good time.
You can’t talk about interesting company blogs without mentioning Signal vs. Noise, the wildly successful blog about design, usability and small business from the makers of project management service Basecamp. This blog could easily stand on its own as compelling reading even if there wasn’t a company behind it selling services. Sure enough, it’s even got an ad on it from the elite boutique ad network The Deck. Signal vs. Noise has 88k subscribers – making it fun and educational for those subscribers is great for the business of 37signals.
Ning powers niche social networks and the company’s blog is a great place to find out about all kinds of groups that are actively using this technology. Some of them a real surprise. The International Society of Space Entreprenuers, the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine and the ASPCA Book Club all have social networks! Who knew? Now how about some data portability, Ning? If you want to read about the theoretical side of niche social networks, check out data portability lovin’ competitor PeopleAggregator’s blog, written by the company’s prolific CEO Marc Canter.
Viddler is a crazy feature rich video hosting service with a very good blog. In addition to feature announcements, the company posts a wide variety of videos that are interesting to watch. That’s where I discovered this one below, for example.
RSS company Newsgator has a great blog about RSS use cases, data portability debates and other industry topics. Maybe I’m just an RSS head – but I really enjoy their blogging. Newsgator competitor Attensa also has a very good blog about all things RSS – but it sure could use some more updates!
Collaborative design tool A.viary has a couple of very good blogs. Their idea blog is full of interesting content that regularly hits the front page of digg. These folks have some seriously juvenile gender issues going on, which I have given them a hard time about before, but their blog is still fun to read otherwise. Every post they put up is worth a look.
User experience and design firm Adaptive Path publishes a very thought provoking blog. I usually scan company blogs for announcements and videos – but their longer posts often convince me to stop and read. OLPC: The Beauty of Failure and Greedy Mobile Interfaces? I’ll stop and read posts with titles like that.
Amazon Web Services
What could be more dreary than commoditized data processing and storage services? While that might sound boring, the AWS Blog does a great job of highlighting cool things that are done on top of Amazon Web Services. Lately they’ve put up posts about how AWS are being used by the New York Times to provide online access to 150 years of archives and by the little ShareThis widget that you’ve probably seen on hundreds of thousands of blogs around the web. Lots of charts, graphs and other fun stuff for nerds on this blog.
Here at RWW we’ve been following the mega-funded recommendation service Strands for several years. We find what they do fascinating. Their company blog is mostly about company announcements, but they have really interesting announcements. Last.fm on Nokia phones? Cool! The most interesting section of their blog though is the data portability category and throughout the blog you’ll find some really deep thoughts on cutting edge innovation.
Articulate is a an e-learning tools company with a very popular blog. More than 20,000 subscribers actively discuss topics like how to make a good screencast and how best to work with clip art. This was a new one to me but I’ve already enjoyed spending some time on this company’s blog. What more could you ask from a company blog? Good content creates a community of advocates that share the blog with friends, some of whom undoubtedly will purchase the company’s products.
These Are But a Few
There really are a fair number of interesting company blogs around the web. We’d love to hear about some of your favorites. Others that are worth checking out include Oracle Apps Lab for a fun discussion of web 2.0 in the enterprise, the Lijit blog on “searching the social graph” and the many fun blogs published by Adobe.
If you found this post of interest, you might enjoy reading our coverage of some of the top new social media company evangelists as well.
We hope you find some of these blogs worth subscribing to and we’d love to learn about other blogs that cover topics of general interest that even non-customers would enjoy reading.