Blog, blog, blog...

More than just a way for people to express their opinions, blogs can put a 'face' on your business.

In the Management Focus feature in this issue, we take a look at blogging, which, up until recently, I personally considered to be a faintly cloudy concept represented by a very funny-sounding word.

But "blog" is actually short for "web log." It's really just a way for a person or company to convey opinions or information about topics which are important to them. The goal here at Cygnus is for editors to establish blogs on our company's websites. To be honest, I didn't like the idea at first. I figured, who would want to read my personal comments on industry topics? What if I write the wrong thing? What if I start a debate? What if what I write makes someone mad?

Now that I've talked with some knowledgeable people about it, and read a few blogs myself, all of those initial reservations I had about writing a blog are the very things that now make them appealing. Never before in our history have so many had the opportunity to say so much to such a large audience. From an editor's perspective, I have the opportunity to help readers digest information, perhaps provide a new perspective on an old topic, or, if nothing else, allow readers to feel personally connected to the magazine and its content. We can start a dialogue.

But what does this mean to you and your business? It means you can put a personal spin on your company's web presence. Visitors to your site will still find all the important information about your hours, inventory, rates, etc., but they'll also get to know YOU a little bit and that makes it easier for them to want to do business with your company.

If you're like me, the idea is still a little scary. And frankly, I haven't started my blog yet, but it's on my list of goals for this year. When it does finally make it into cyberspace, I hope you'll cut me a little slack, but mostly I hope you enjoy reading it and will take part in the dialogue.

In the big picture, I think this latest trend in the Internet world is a positive thing for our society. While our world continues to get bigger all the time, it also seems to be getting smaller too. Blogs help put a personal face on businesses, organizations and, well, individuals in a way like never before, and I think nothing could be better for business. After all, your customers aren't doing business with your company, they're doing business with you. Why not let them get to know you?

View examples of construction blog posts.

Editor's note: In the article titled "Trencher Talk," which was featured in the July issue of Rental Product News, we mistakenly stated that Ed Malzahn, founder and president of The Charles Machine Works Co., is retired. Malzahn is not retired and still heads up the company which manufactures Ditch Witch equipment. We regret the error and apologize for any misunderstandings it might have caused.