Carsonified – A Model of a Good Company Blog

I subscribe to quite a lot of blogs.

But I don’t subscribe to many company blogs.

By “company blog” I mean a blog which is an adjunct to a company’s ordinary business. I just haven’t found many that are worth following. In order to get my attention, the blog needs a human voice and needs to tell me something useful, relevant or interesting.

Usually, companies either don’t do it or they do it wrongly. I know you want me to buy your goods and services. But to keep me coming back to your website you need to give me more than a pitch.

One exception to this is the blog of Carsonified, a software development company based in Bath, UK, who specialise in web-based applications and related conferences. Please bear with me, even if that’s not your area of interest.

To be sure, they have plenty of work to be getting on with besides writing blog posts. But something about the industry insights of co-founder Ryan Carson in particular has kept me coming back, plus his eagerness to blog honestly about their company activities.

Building and launching a successful web app is a fraught and turbulent business, which adds to the fascination for me. It reminds me of artist development in the music industry, especially music managers I’ve met – not least in the fact there is an abundance of people making a play and only a few who will win. Even by their own definitions of success.

As if to undermine part of what I’ve just said (!), Ryan Carson sometimes gets it wrong, as he admits in this new video, Blogging Tips for Downturn 2.0 (don’t let the title put you off).

After laying off three employees in December 2008, Carson (with their permission) decided to blog about it. That wasn’t the problem. Yes, layoffs are embarrassing but the news will travel anyway. So you may as well set the tone. And you’ll probably do the former employees a favour by highlighting their availability.

His mistake, in his view, was to combine the news with some advice about how to be a “good” employee. In effect, he combined two blog posts into one which gave out an impression that he was admonishing them, which wasn’t his intention. You can still read the original post about the redundancies.

Those who don’t blog may ask: was all this worth the effort for Carson? Well, I for one am reading his blog and checking out his products and have also mentioned the company to a few people as a result, including you now. So make up your own mind.