Blogging and MBAs

I had the chance recently to give a talk to about 60 MBA students about the impact of blogs and social media upon the business world. Broad topic, I know, but I put together a few slides to try and provide some context for the discussion and shared my experiences and perspectives with the group. Among other items, here are a few of the topics we went over:

I did some ‘show-of-hands’ polling to ascertain how many of the students were involved with blogging on some level. I was fairly surprised to discover that most of the students had never heard of Technorati (let alone used it) or blog search engines. Naturally, none of them had begun to subscribe to RSS feeds or even read blogs on a regular basis.
It has gotten me to thinking that the whole message of blogs is a long way from being mainstream. It seems to have been relegated to self-proclaimed ‘geeks’ who are interested and intrigued by the technology and overall movement. There are exceptions, undoubtedly, but there is much distance yet to travel.
The ironic thing, though, is that people really nod their heads in agreement when you explain the ‘impact’ stories of Dell-Hell, Kryptonite, and others. I think that the potential for traction exists, but the educational divide seems too great. I’m wondering what it will take for the business world to really grab on en masse. Will Microsoft’s inclusion of RSS in the next version of IE help? Will another cover story in a magazine bring it all to a boil? Will a newer, simpler platform for social media emerge to shift emphasis from blogging? Or is this just a technology whose time has yet to arrive?
I know that Technorati’s numbers create a pretty compelling case (i.e. the time has already come) for the media. But when will social media be empasized in more MBA programs? When will more small business owners (not just the fortune 500s) dig into the movement?
I have been comparing this response to my interactions with executives who are in pretty much the same place. Blogs are a known entity, but only on a superficial level. I am encountering very few folks who are truly considering the impact of social media on their organization’s future.

About Matt Certo

Matt Certo is founder and CEO of Findsome & Winmore, a digital marketing agency based in Orlando, FL. He is also the author of FOUND: Connecting with Customers in the Digital Age and Formulaic: How Thriving Companies Market from the Core.


  1. Josh Hallett

    Did you ask them if they had MySpace accounts?
    I spoke at Florida State a few weeks ago.
    First question, “How many of you blog?” I think 5 or 6 of the 150+ raised their hands.
    Second question, “How many of you have MySpace accounts?” I think almost all of them raised their hands.

  2. Matt Certo

    Good point, Josh! Probably would have gotten a similar response. I guess what was really on my mind was the lack of significant thought regarding the impact of this activity on consumer brands/sales.

  3. Josh Hallett

    When looking at blogs from a word-of-mouth-marketing perspective there is impact, but people can’t qualify it sometimes.
    Often when presented with your question, I will ask somebody, “what brand of toothpaste/diapers/etc.. do you use?” When they answer I ask them why? Chances are it wasn’t because of an ad, it was a suggestion from a friend or relative.

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