Well, I don’t what it is — but Charlene Li and her intrepid side kick Chloe Stromberg of Forrester Research is on the case and trying to find out.Â It sounds like the substance of their data includes analyzing 9 fortune 1000 bogs, and interviewing 5 “thought leaders”.Â Li and Stromberg acknowledge that measuring the ROI ofÂ blogs can be a tricky thing, since the metrics will depend on what the purpose of the blog is for.Â In this interview with Computerworld, they identify how corporate blogs in particular can have three broad uses can can drive the return on investment:
There are three major elements that drive the ROI of blogging. The first is benefits. The second is cost. The third, which is often overlooked, is managing the risks. The hard thing is measuring the benefits. Some might say that a benefit of a blog is that it brings you closer to your customers. Well, how do you measure that? What’s the value of that? Many companies don’t know the value of having a visitor come to their Web site.Â
That third bit about managing risks is funny — I would say its a double edged sword.Â While it can help mitigate disaster, it can also prompt controversy.Â Look at the Edelman / Wal-Mart fiasco, for example.Â While he
could have used his own blog to manage the disaster, the fact it took so long to start saying something (anything) was perceived as a blogging faux pas (to put it nicely), allowing all kinds of attitudes, suppositions and hypotheses to foment.Â After a while, some bloggers began to feel what wasn’t being said was more of an issue than what was done.
At any rate, no sense on re-hashing the interview, which is short but interesting.Â For companies with deep pockets, look for the complete report sometime later in the year.