Fortune 500 Blog Review: Chubb

Fortune 500 Blogs Project So here am I as promised, back on my editorial calendar, and Tuesday is the day for a Fortune 500 Blog Review (well, I guess I should not limit myself to Fortune 500 blogs – I want to cover Singapore companies!)

Today, we are going to check out if the the insurance company, Chubb, has any corporate blogs 🙂

Let’s go!

Searching the Chubb website, Google, Yahoo, Technorati, Google BlogSearch…

Nope! Chubb doesn’t seem to have any corporate blogs…

Here something interesting though. I did a search for blogs on the company website, and it seems that the company just has some recent news about blogs – they stated their position about not covering law firm blogs.

According to a WebProNews article, here’s why:

An insurance carrier told a New Jersey law firm that they could not cover the firm’s Web site if they had a blog. The insurance company Chubb saw the blog as a liability and fretted that the content could be viewed as legal advice.

Chubb published a press release about it, and then the issue was very extensively covered in the blogosphere, by many of the blogs covering the insurance and law industry.

Basically, as of now, any search with “Chubb” and “blog” will result in pages and pages of results with this case. Chubb sure has no issues getting their word out :mrgreen:

But could Chubb have used a corporate blog to release the same statement? Would the effect have been the same, or would the echo be greater? Would there be more participation and debate? How else could Chubb use a corporate blog?

(Okay… I’m late by 20 minutes! Its already Wednesday as I finish up with this post! :mrgreen: )

Fortune 500 Blog Review: American Express

Fortune 500 Blogs ProjectSo according to my blog editorial calendar I shall follow. Today shall be a day I continue with my Fortune 500 Blog Review, and today I am investigating the card you should never leave home without – the American Express!

Let start from the Amex Website

Nope. No signs of any blogs whatesoever – at least not in the menus or search. Searching does give you a business resources page where it does list a few weblogs, specifically:

But I’ve checked them out and they are not blogs owned by American Express. They are listed there to give visitors resources a fresh perspectives and shared insights by these business related blogs.

I tried using site: blog command and what turned out was links to two press releases – one about a sponsorship of a TV program and another about some celebrations of a film festival. No blogs.

Technorati / Google BlogSearch

There are a lot of mentions of “American Express” or “Amex” in Technorati and Google Blog Search, but most of the mentions are either about the customer’s experience with their services or about their finances.

One particularly interesting post is this – saying that

American Express is, to put it simply the Pepsi of the credit card world, viz a familiar name but always a second choice. Lets examine why. Who is responsible?

Well. :mrgreen:

Oh this is nice! Amex might not have a blog (at least as what I have searched until now) but they certainly take part in the blogosphere’s conversations! Check out this post! It is a post with commentary about unethical opt ins, and Gail Wasserman, the Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications in Europe actually responded to the post with a comment to resolve and clarify the issue.

Wonderfully done! (Now I won’t be surprised if another Amex PR executive drops by this review) 😛


Oops! The first entry that came up in both “American Express Blog” and “Amex Blog” was this – Not a very good thing to have listed first. Also among the entries are some commentary about misleading commercials and a entry about American Express paying bloggers to write.

But no. No signs of blogs owned by the company themselves.

Lets try Yahoo!

Found some flickr photos about them inviting people to RSS! Cools! mmm… apart from that, nothing much. Still no official corporate blogs.

Well so that’s it! No public facing corporate blogs by the credit card company, but from the searches and pages I’ve surfed to, I can see that they certainly are into using the web and the blogosphere for marketing and public relations, which is a great move. :mrgreen:

Do you think American Express could have done their public relations better with a public facing blog? Would a blog like that have consolidated all the unhappy expressions and feedback in the blogosphere and on the web in one place where they can be openly addressed?

Fortune 500 Blog Review: Sprint Nextel

Fortune 500 Blogs ProjectIts been a while since I worked on the Fortune 500 Blogs Project. Today I shall do so, and here is my next review – Sprint Nextel!

On one of Easton’s earlier posts, he has already highlighted one of the blogs that Sprint has, The Communications Insider.

So while I keep that in mind, lets do a more thorough search first, to see if we can uncover more blogs by Sprint.

Searching Sprint’s site, Googling, Technorati, Yahoo. Okay, here are the findings.

Josh has done a review on the same Sprint blog, and the review was done in May 2005, and it seems to me that at that time, it was a different blog. Their URL was, but it is now redirected to the new one at

There is another blog by Sprint, Photobilty – the Sprint PCS Picture Mail Blog… err… I don’t know what PCS Picture Mail means now, I dive more into it later.

Yet another blog in the Sprint Application Developer Program (ADP) site. This looks more like a mini-blog. Here is what I get when I click “Blog Archive and Details“. It sure looks like a blog, but I can’t seem to find the home page of the blog.

I’ve noticed something though – it seems like most of Google’s indexed pages of the Sprint Blog use the old URL, and all the URLs direct to the main page of the new blog, I’ve checked, and it seems that they have taken down those entries in the new blog. The archives of the blog before February 2006 (which is probably the time they ported) was all empty.

Anyway, so it seems Sprint has three very official blogs.

  1. The communications insider
  2. Photobility
  3. The blog entries without a title at the ADP homepage

I just have this feeling that the blog don’t seem like part of their reaching out plan – there aren’t any obvious links from the company homepage to their blog.

Let’s get into each one and examine it in more detail.

The Communication Insider

The Communications Insider is a podcast blog maintained by David Spark. In the author bio, David introduces himself as such:

Spark joined Publicis Dialog in San Francisco to start the advertising agency’s custom publishing division–a group responsible for disseminating the communications knowledge of Sprint.

The podcasts cover topics related to Sprint Nextel’s business, topics like Wireless Phone Etiquette and Mobile Multimedia. Most podcasts also feature interviews or dialogues between two or more people.

The podcasts are relatively long – for example, the EVDO roundtable has a clip that is 27 minutes long. However, the frequency of updates of blog is pretty poor, sometimes only updating once a month. I felt it could be more effective to have shorter podcasts with more frequent updates.

The first post of the blog was in February 2006 (I think that was the time they ported from the old blog), and the last post was on 13th July 2006.

There are feeds available for the their podcasts, and each post also invites commentary. Looking at the number of comments on their blog, I would hypothesise that there isn’t enough publicity for this blog to be regularly visited by the target audience. Based on the links on Technorati, this blog is linked and read by fellow bloggers in the mobile phone niche.

Taking a look at the source code, it is run over a Blojsom platform.

Color SwitcherThere is a cool little widget though – there is a little color switcher on the top right that allows readers to switch the colors of the template to the one they like. :mrgreen:


To be frank, I feel Photobility looks more like a blog than The Communications Insider.

Photobility is “The Sprint PCS Picture Mail Blog”, and based on the categories I see on the blog, it seems to be discussing about issues related to camera phones.

Here is the official description on the about page:

Photobility is dedicated to the discussion of visual communication and how it influences and changes peoples’ lives. There’s nothing for sale here. Just a place to discuss the world of visual communication and how Sprint, a pioneer in the camera phone industry, is working to enhance that communication.

The blog is updated quite frequently, seeing 24 posts in November 2006, almost once a day. It also seem that this is a community contributed blog, with different authors for every post. The first post of this blog was made in August 2006, which is pretty recent, and there are feeds for feed reading fanatics. 😉

The ADP Blog

As mentioned, I can’t find the home page of the ADP blog. It says recent blog entries on the ADP Home Page, and a click on the “See last 10 blog entries” links to this unruly URL.

Never mind.

The ADP Blog seems to be more like an internal communications blog or internal announcement service, with messages written much like emails. Again, this posts in this blog come from many authors and I believe all of them are developers for Sprint applications.

The furthest I could go back in time for the ADP blog was May 2005, and updates are pretty irregular, some months having two posts a week, while other’s don’t feature a single post for the whole month.

There are no signs of feeds for this blog, and this is weird, because they have feeds for their technical bulletins and site updates!

Based on what I see on the ADP homepage, it seems discussions have been migrated to their discussion forums.

That’s It!

So that it, 3 blogs by Sprint Nextel was all I could find. If you find any other, do let me know!

How do you think Sprint Nextel could have maximized the use of their blogs? Some of them aren’t updated as frequently as they should be, in my opinion. What could Sprint Nextel do?

Fortune 500 Blog Review: 3M

Fortune 500 Blogs ProjectI’ll move on to continue to do my bit for the Fortune 500 Blog Project – its been some time since I wrote my last review.

I’m very very sure that you have heard of the fortune 500 company that I am going to review on into today – well, even if you haven’t heard of the company name, you must have used at least one of their products! Let’s dig into the blogging world of the company that made the world’s “Adhesive tape” into “Scotch tape”! – 3M!

By the way, did you know that 3M used to be Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, until 2002? At least that is what Wikipedia said. :mrgreen:

Let dive into the blog searching right away! Searching… Company website… Google… Google Finance… Google BlogSearch… Technorati… Yahoo…

Nope! There are no official corporate blogs by 3M!

Let me show you some interesting findings though.

They have a press release page, and I don’t seem to find any feeds for them but they have a press release alert thingy, which I think is like a email broadcast whenever there is news.

Apart from that, another way that you can get press release alerts is through their Post-it software notes, and it bring the news right to the desktop! I thought this was a pretty cool idea – giving the web community a nifty application to store notes, and at the same time let them hear about your company. Neat!

Like any other Fortune 500 company, there are quite a lot of blogs out there talking about their share prices and stuff, but I shan’t go into detail. More can be found though Google BlogSearch.

Oh! A little sidetrack – have you ever seen what a blog looks like when it has violated the terms of service? Here’s one which I found while scrummaging though the searches. According to the title of the post, it was supposed to be talking about some 3M filters or something like that, but after investigating the description, it was quite obvious that it was just another splog. Yae! One splog down! Thanks Matt (and the WordPress team)! You rock! :mrgreen:

Wordpress Violate TOS

Could 3M have benefited from a corporate blog? What could they have put up?

While I was searching Google for “3M blogs”, the first entry that came out was a blog saying that Technorati was tracking 3M Blogs. I was like going “What is so special about 3M’s blogs that made Technorati want to track them specifically?”

After following the URL, I got to know that the author meant “3 million” when he said “3M”. :mrgreen: Well, while that example had nothing much to do with the blog review, one idea that popped up was maybe 3M could come up with blogs like “3M ways to use Scotch Tape”, and “3M ways to use Post It pads”… where they can really spend some time and creative juice thinking of 3 million ways to use their products! Of course, compiling the list would take substantial time but wouldn’t that be interesting? 😉

How else can 3M benefit from a blog?

Fortune 500 Blog Review: Harrah’s Entertainment

Harrahs EntertainmentOkay, I shall continue with my blog review for the Fortune 500 Blogs Project, and today I will be investigating on Harrah’s Entertainment!

Harrah’s operates casinos and hotels, so the front line people do have direct contact with their customers, unlike the auto manufacturers or manufacturers of products like shampoo … or the likes where the company is mainly involved in production, leaving the retailers and dealers to do the main sales and interaction.

So does Harrah’s Entertainment have a corporate blog? Lets find out!

Let’s start from their company website!

Searching for blogs… Nope! No blogs! They don’t even have a search box in their website. Argh.

Next search! Google! blog – nothing.

Searching… searching… nope. No sign of corporate blogs.

Some interesting results though, about people saying stuff in their blogs relating to Harrah’s

  1. CIO Weblog talking about Harrah’s CRM strategy
  2. Las Vagas blog has an article of advice to Harrah’s stockholders
  3. The Creative-Weblogging network of blogs has a blog that has published quite a few articles on Harrahs, like their effort to help problem gamblers.

Apart from that.. nope. Well, there are a few entries which are those spammy looking blogs. Shan’t list them here.

Google Blog Search

A lot of “poker news”, “casino news” and “gambling news” blogs that talk about the things going on in Harrahs like articles on Harrah’s buyout and Harrah’s Announcing 2007 WSOP Dates, but nope, no sign of corporate blogs.

It seems that something is brewing at Harrahs regarding a buyout. Here’s an excerpt which I got from the page:

The Wall Street Journal reported that Harrah’s Entertainment, the partent company of the Harrah’s casinos, had received a buyout offer from Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group to acquire the casino operator for $81 a share in cash.

Just news which stock investors would be concerned about…

Anyway… On to Technorati

Nothing again. Some blogs about their trip to Las Vegas.

Well, I guess that’s it. No corporate blogs, no employee blogs found.

How could Harrah’s have benefited from a corporate blog?

I think two major stake holders for Harrah’s (like any other public listed company) are their customers, and stockholders.

The Harrah’s website is doing a pretty good job for customers – having a casino locator, reservations and stuff like that. Harrah’s also has a loyalty program called Total Rewards, and I believe that is the primary way in which the company gets in touch with their loyal customers. (Anyone with any experience to share on this?)

For shareholders – there are plenty of sites talking about HET shares, like Google Finance, and also plenty of blogs too. They are managing their investors well too, with their section of website for investor relations. They do have some financial press releases, and they do come in RSS feeds.

I think a corporate blog could help people who are not in their rewards program. Maybe they could publish updates on the recent changes to their casino machines, or gather feedback on their experience at their casinos? A corporate blog could also put a more friendly feel for investors, to give them updates in a friendlier voice rather than press releases.

How and what else would Harrah’s do with a corporate blog?