Business blog summit

Web 2.0 | 2008/06/26 19:11 | Web 2.0 Asia
Yesterday I spoke at Business Blog Summit (link in Korean) - I talked about the new blog service we've launched recently in Korea, which I'll spare on this blog.

As the name suggests, Business Blog Summit is mainly about how companies and organizations can leverage blog and other types of social media. Most of the audience were young marketing folks, who I assume are often told by their bosses to "go learn about this blogging thing".

Here's some stuff from the conference that I think would be interesting to those outside of Korea as well:

Kia's manager, Mr Ryu, talked about the car company's corporate blog called Kia Buzz (about which I wrote here). Kia studied the lifestyle of average car buyers and figured it's meaningless to focus their marketing efforts only on the old media. Hence the needs of a global blog, but Ryu said running a corporate blog turned out to be so challenging that Kia thought about quitting it altogether many times.

They realized the best content they could offer was actually the real-life stories from actual car designers and engineers. But the challenge was finding contributors without explicit benefit (except for some free dinners :-). Also, many of the behind-the-scene folks at Kia were Koreans, so they also had the language issue as well.

But after months of effort, Kia Buzz contributed significantly to the increased brand awareness - and also could send out more "human" voice, such as Kia Azerbaijan sponsoring the national arm-wrestling competition (which wouldn't have been known outside of Azerbaijan if it wasn't for this Kia Buzz blog).

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You don't want to mess with them really.

Also interesting was a "hospital blog" run by Kim's eye hospital. This is no average mom and pop clinic by the way - it's the biggest eye hospital in Asia with 40+ surgeons and 400K+ outpatients. Dr. Kim from the hospital said he felt  hospitals had to provide more objective medical information, as today such an overwhelming part of the messages coming from hospitals are of promotional nature. (Try "LASIK" on Naver search.)

So Kim's Eye hospital started a blog where they put up medical information (not in a promotional voice) and real-life stories happening at their hospital (which should be quite interesting - that's why medical dramas like ER have been so popular on TV). As the first "hospital blog", the site drew lots of media attention - a first mover advantage.

Also, I didn't know until this conference that City of Seoul runs a blog! City of Seoul has been blogging since March 2004, and blogging is an important initiative for the city as it aims to attract 12M+ tourists this year. These days, tourists find information mostly from blogs - so the city is planning to do Chinese and English blogging on the likes of QQ and Myspace. (It's pretty interesting they mentioned QQ first - surely Seoul wants to attract many tourists from China.)
TAG Business Blog Summit 2008, Kia Buzz
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