Saturday, September 30, 2006

Article on Blogs

For our blog readers, an interesting article on blogs.

An excerpt.

Going to the blogs
By Mehul Srivastava - Bee Staff WriterPublished 12:00 am PDT Saturday, September 30, 2006

Three years ago, Jonathon Lockwood, a real estate agent in Cameron Park, decided there had to be a better way to drive potential clients to his Web site. Falling back on his past training as a software engineer, he launched his own blog.

It was 2003, and most folks hadn't heard of a blog. But every day or so, he put up a new post, talking about the intricacies of real estate.

Before long, he had cornered the market on some pretty spectacular real estate -- of the virtual kind. Now, when anyone Googles "Sacramento Real Estate" on the Web, it's Lockwood's Web site that typically pops up first.

"My take on it is that a blog is not a money-making tool in itself, but is a way to push content to the Web site and attract search engines," he said. Lockwood said he now gets most of his prospective clients through the Internet, and sometimes has so many that he's able to pass on -- or sell -- the referrals to colleagues.

But what Lockwood has done is pretty rare, especially in Sacramento, where local businesses seem to be taking only tentative steps into the blogosphere.

"There are several people who are blogging -- but I would not call any successful," said Gopan Madathil, who heads the local tech networking group TechCoire. "In my view, Sacramento is yet to have a true (business) blog that people really read and go to."

Nationally, though, blogs are increasingly being tapped by businesses seeking to build their brands with customers and clients by going beyond mere Web sites.

They're still only a blip on the blogging scene, however. Of the estimated 25 million to 35 million blogs in the United States, only 5 percent are business-related, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.