Just 1.5 percent of the companies on the Forbes 200 "Best Small Company" list have a company blog, according to a report reseased Thursday by eMarketer. The report also cited statistics from Socialtext showing that only 5.8 percent of the top Fortune 500 operate blogs.
Report author James Belcher attributed the reluctance to companies' fear of consumer comments. "Businesses have been slow to enter a medium where ceding control is one of the ground rules," Belcher wrote. "Blogging for an audience--especially for consumers--will become commonplace over time. There will soon be a generation of consumers for whom sharing information via social networks and personal blogs is second nature--and they can see through a sales pitch in a second. When looking for product information, these consumers need to be addressed in a direct tone."
Companies might not be creating blogs, but they are advertising on them. A study by PQ Media released earlier this year predicted that spending on blog advertising will reach 36.2 million this year, up from $16.6 in 2005.