Blogs increasingly are becoming an important business tool for marketing to customers and mining for new prospects. But entrepreneurs can also learn a thing or two about venture capital, management, research and the world of business by reading and subscribing to blogs. There has been such an explosion of business blogs that it can be hard to find the valuable voices in the cacophony of blogs and podcasts out there. Here’s a guide to some that offer more value for your click-through time:
Business Blog Consulting: Yes, it’s a blog about -- what else? -- business blogs. But it’s an important business blog, too, with 15 contributors providing a daily stream of relevant new material. It’s focused on demonstrating how effective blogs can be for marketing and communicating with customers, but it also provides plenty of material about how to use a variety of Internet technologies to their best business advantage.
Business Pundit: While Businesspundit primarily covers entrepreneurship, chief contributor Rob May notes in the home logo that the site covers “entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, some occasional neuroscience and anything that interests me.” It’s an educational -- and entertaining -- look inside the thoughts of a adjunct professor at the University of Louisville in Kentucky who holds both an MBA and a degree in electrical engineering, and who has been an entrepreneur, small business owner and salesperson. He also co-founded content aggregator Commercebucket, which lets users contribute and rate the best business and financial news stories they find on the Web.
Feld Thoughts Brad Feld, a managing director at Mobius Venture Capital, is a voracious reader and relaxed -- but insightful -- writer. Reading his blog is like looking over the shoulder of an accomplished venture capitalist as he moves through his business day. That might explain why, according to Technorati, nearly 2,600 other sites link to Feld’s blog.
Gartner Blogs: This listing cheats a bit because it actually links to nine active blogs and a couple dozen archived blogs. Each of the blogs offers entries by various members of the Gartner research crew, an incredibly rich source of information about all things business and technology. The collection is carefully moderated, frequently updated and always informative.
Jeff Matthew Is Not Making This Up: While it’s true that he lifted his blog’s title from humor master Dave Barry, Jeff Matthews is still a very funny man in his own right. And he also offers a refreshing point of view on Wall Street and its many foibles. Together, these factors make for both an entertaining and educational read.
Management By Baseball: What this site lacks in organization and visual appeal it more than makes up for in hard-hitting baseball analogies about business. Blogger (and former baseball writer) Jeff Angus created the site as a companion to his spring 2006 book Management by Baseball: The Official Rules for Winning Management in Any Field. Rather than re-hashing the book, though, Angus posts new material once or twice a week. Our favorite pithy comment? "Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits," said New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel.
Manager Tools: Not strictly a blog, Manager Tools is a weekly podcast focused on practical techniques for effective management. Rather than an MBA course on management theory, Manager Tools offers a host of specific day-to-day actions anyone can try. The online forums featuring advice about conducting one-on-one meetings, hiring practices and favorite books are particularly noteworthy.