I've long thought about writing about the history of blogging, or rather, I've often written about the topic, but never developed a time line for the sequence of great events in corporate blogging. I'm starting now with this post. My main interest is in early corporate blogging before BusinessWeek published it's now famous article on how blogging had arrived in 2005. But I will certainly write about significant events in corporate blogging after 2005. And will add content as I find information and chat with people online.
2000 Microsoft - Volunteer, not company sponsored, Microsoft heavily influenced the rest of the industry with its corporate blogs. The growing blog culture helped to influence critics after the Microsoft court case with the US Government, instead of being seen as just an anonymous large company, individual employees spoke their mind and broke perceptions and barriers for Microsoft. Robert Scoble became the first social influencer made famous through blogging - Naked Conversations - Robert Scoble & Shel Israel
2002 Macromedia - Inspired by Slashdot.org, CTO, Jeremy Allaire encouraged his Product Managers to start blogging as a way to get information out to developers quickly. Macromedia was the first poster child for corporate blogging, especially after a famous Wired magazine article was published about their corporate blogging efforts. The Macromedia blog aggregator was an early blog search engine before commercial blog search engines appeared. To be included in the aggregator all you have to do is register and write about now Adobe related topics. Once Macromedia was bought by Adobe, their blogging efforts continued but were reduced. Ed Krimen wrote an article on how blogging at Macromedia got started, and Wired wrote one of the first and most important articles on corporate blogging and Macromedia in 2002, the article was number one on Google for "corporate blogging," for years.
2002 Groove Networks - Ray Ozzie, now the Chief Software Architect at Microsoft blogged while he was CEO of Groove, from at least 2002 onwards. Sadly the blog appears to have disappeared.
2002 Jupiter Research - A number of bloggers at the analyst firm started blogging.
2002 P&G - Internal bloggers.
2003 Autodesk - Shaan Hurley starts his personal blog, after two other employees suggested he try out blogging technology, Shaan writes in this post's comment section that he had previously spent a lot of time in Autodesk's forums answering questions, blogging was a natural progression. Shaan is a product evangelist for Autodesk.
2003 IBM - First internal and external official blogs, but IBMer's were blogging earlier. IBM developed an important set of corporate blogging guidelines that influenced the industry.
2004 Dell - I might be wrong on my dates, but I believe the first Dell blog was started in 2004 by Gary Lerhaupt for the Dell Linux Community, see my interview with Gary for the first Corporate Blogging Survey in 2004. This early Dell blog main a lot of sense given the blog's audience and community, Linux users were early blogging adopters. Dell2Dell was launched in 2006 after Dell Hell, but Dell had been an even earlier pioneer in the field of corporate blogging.
2004 Stonyfield Farms - Inspired by the Howard Dean campaign, Stonyfield created a series of themed blogs including one written by an organic farmer and one about baby health. Instead of writing about yogurt the content strategy was to focus on the reasons for buying Stonyfield products. Although the number of blogs reduced over time, and the organic farmer blog has always been the strongest, the Stonyfield Farm blogs influenced a lot of corporate blogging approaches to content strategy,
2004 General Motors - The Small Block Engine in October, and the The Fast Lane blog in January 2005, plus their first corporate podcast - Important landmark in corporate social media, first big Fortune 500 non-technology company to start blogging.
2005 Boeing - Boeing's Randy's Journal started by Randy Baseler in 2005, was continued in 2007 by Randy Tinseth. The blog content focuses on Boeing content and critiquing Airbus business strategy. A great example of competitive writing.
2008 Comcast - What's interesting about the Comcast blog is that it launched after Comcast became known as a successful case study for social media engagement without the use of a blog. Instead Comcast's @comcastcares ran a successful social media engagement practice from 2007.