Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time - Mark Schaefer, Stanford Smith My opinion: As an MBA level marketing/business development executive for over a decade, I have been aware of the importance of blogging in an organization's Marketing/PR toolbox. The days of simply throwing up a website, maybe a couple of ads on television or in the print world or developing some brochures are gone. Consumers are getting much more savvy and demanding more from the companies they buy from. Because of this, I have chosen to write this review from the perspective of the business world. Blogs are becoming more and more common. I am seeing them pop up everywhere from Fortune 500 companies to health (hospital) systems to mom and pop businesses. In a world where business is getting more and more competitive, companies must be looking for new ways to draw consumers to their organizations. Blogs are a perfect tool for doing so without the formality or cost of a website, print/television advertisement or printed brochures. I like to call blogs "fireside" chats. Through education, organization happenings and/or success stories business a chance to get human with their customer base. Furthermore, blogging offers the business one more chance to be visible to consumers. The authors beautifully lay out the tools, tips and tidbits for doing this. I must say that I truly enjoyed the conciseness that the authors had written with. The book was laid out in very simple terms and got to the point very quickly. My favorite part of the book? The take actions, of course! The authors put verbs in their words to make the blogger successful in their endeavors. As businesses look to this, that conciseness in how to get it done becomes very important. Now, did I agree with everything in the book. No, I didn't. I do think there is a difference in objectives between personal blogging, blogging for business and what the audiences expect. I feel that the audiences the bloggers are trying to connect with need to be as respected as the blog itself. I felt the authors tried to combine the two worlds. Enough to tell you not to buy the book? Nah, I think a prudent business person will be able to take what they need and leave the rest. I must admit that I feel that these books could and should have been separated into two different books. Why I personally choose to blog is totally different than why as a business owner I blog. The needs, expectations and expected outcomes are totally different. One other point that I felt was either totally missed or glossed over is identifying best practices in blogs that are being produced in the area of business or interest and looking at what makes these blogs successful.One must not take lightly that, although blogging is an important tool, it is a timely and creative tool that can't be taken on by the faint of heart. Blogs that are dry, boring and lack that human touch can be just as detrimental to a business as those that don't blog at all!