One of the things I like to do when evaluating an application or service is to also look to see if the company has a product blog, and how frequently it is updated. I have found that regular posting on a blog is a great indicator of a companies general attitude about the importance of communicating with their customers.
A good company blog lets us know about new features, gives us tutorials and tips, and presents us with useful information related to their product or service. It gives us a glimpse into what they do and often why they do it. It also makes my experience more personal by giving me names and faces to associate with the company.
Some companies really seem to get it. Folks like CrossLoop, BatchBlue, FreshBooks, 37signals, and Wufoo are all excellent at keeping me in the loop via their blog. These regular glimpses into their company and their services enhance the quality of my interaction with them immeasurably.
The bigger companies seem to struggle with this a bit. While I subscribe to the various Google product blogs, I find the are updated much less frequently. Meanwhile, our own Judi Sohn has written about the state of blogging at Apple.
Microsoft actually has a staggering number of bloggers, although quality and frequency can vary. I highly recommend Geek in Disguise as the best place to start, he’ll point you to the others you need. Steve is quickly becoming the face of Microsoft for me.
A well written, frequently updated blog certainly goes a long way to keep me as a customer happy.
Does your company have a blog? Which company blogs would you recommend?