BlogUnit(TM) allows corporate web loggers to author, manage, measure, deliver, and syndicate blogging communication. It integrates built-in security through profiles that can be tuned to control access to features and content. All blog content resides in company's data center, enabling tight control of editing, publishing, approval, content viewing, broadcasting, and statistics. BlogUnit offers support for collecting and aggregating content from external RSS and Atom feeds.
Innovative BlogUnit(TM) Series Offers Rack-Ready Enterprise Solution for Companies Seeking to Expand Corporate Communications Strategies Through Blogs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 14 - WhatCounts, a leader in corporate e-communications, today announced the launch of the BlogUnit(TM) Series, the first technology appliance specifically designed to help corporations address and manage the growing need for corporate communications through Weblogs, or "blogs."
The company introduced the series by demonstrating BlogUnit 1.0 here at DEMO@15!, the annual technology conference that is widely regarded as an elite showcase for cutting-edge technologies, and plans to begin shipping units to its first customers on March 1.
"Blogging offers corporations a new way to keep their various constituencies up-to-date on important developments or trends, to provide a practical and easy way to share knowledge, to get valuable feedback and to engage readers with one another," said David Geller, president and chief executive officer of WhatCounts.
A number of solutions currently address the blogging needs of individuals and small businesses, Geller said. But corporations, which eventually may have hundreds of company-related blogs, have much different and more complex requirements for these initiatives.
"As corporations embrace blogging as part of their communications and work-collaboration strategies, they may have to manage and oversee hundreds of company-related blogs," Geller said. "They will have to monitor and maintain content, manage integration, maintain security standards, and facilitate collaboration across blogs. It has the potential to be very expensive and labor-intensive.
"The BlogUnit Series anticipates those needs and provides a powerful, scalable, ready-to-use platform that makes this next stage in e-communication practical."
BlogUnit provides a cost-effective, rack-ready appliance that is tuned to network security requirements and can be up-and-running in 15 minutes. Corporate bloggers find an easy-to-use and fully-featured platform to author, manage, measure, deliver, and syndicate this powerful new form of communication, Geller said.
"Blogging is a growing reality for corporations worldwide as they look for ways to improve communications with their key audiences -- customers, employees, vendors and the like," Geller said. "But there are a myriad of issues, such as accountability, accuracy and security that corporations have to address as they get into this new territory."
Corporate blogging on the rise?
Corporate blogging appears to be one of the next big steps for corporate communications strategies, Geller said. A recent report from Forrester supports that statement.
In a 2004 report entitled "Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal?" Forrester examines the current state of corporate blogging and predicts that public corporate blogs will become a key component of corporate blog strategies during the next five years. Forrester concludes that the current blog market resembles the early days of the Internet when corporate Web sites started to appear in the mid-1990s.
"Corporate blogging is coming," Geller said, "and corporations will quickly find that effective, efficient and smart blogging is more complicated than building and maintaining individual blogs."
Innovative features and functions
BlogUnit dramatically expands the possibilities for blogging through an innovative feature set that directly addresses key issues such as security, versioning and workflow, and reporting, Geller said. He highlighted five features and functions that will dramatically enhance a corporation's blogging initiatives.
-- Security -- BlogUnit integrates built-in security through profiles that can be tuned to control access to features and content. Support for LDAP and Radius servers allow centralized access control. All blog content resides in the company's data center, enabling tight control of editing, publishing, approval, content viewing, broadcasting, and statistics.
-- Versioning and workflow -- BlogUnit extends the ability to create versions and roll-back to versions quickly and easily so there is always a record of the entire process. Combined with the content approval process via workflow, there is now a powerful solution for corporations that operate in highly regulated and compliance driven markets and need to maintain records of all activity and the authoring process.
-- Syndication of permission-based e-mail -- In addition to support for RSS and Atom, BlogUnit goes one-step further by enabling customers with robust permission e-mail marketing programs to seamlessly integrate their efforts into blog programs, thereby giving them a communications and syndication edge.
-- Merging of Content feeds -- Uniquely, BlogUnit offers built-in support for collecting and aggregating content from external RSS and Atom feeds. These data can be pulled directly into blogs in an automated manner, allowing a corporation to consolidate related information. This powerful feature will expand the opportunities for every form of blogging, from work collaboration blogging, to internal and external blog publishing.
-- API Suite -- BlogUnit's powerful, yet simple API's enable organizations to publish application-generated data securely and automatically in graphical reports and statistics.
Moreover, BlogUnit helps meet requirements by enforcing accountability and by protecting communication security and accuracy, thus making it ideal for organizations that operate in highly-regulated industries.
Introduction at DEMO@15!
The company officially unveiled BlogUnit this week at DEMO@15! in Scottsdale. It was one of several new technologies that were introduced at the show and it drew strong praise from Chris Shipley, the show's executive producer and an expert on innovative technology products.
"BlogUnit represents the best kind of technology innovation," Shipley said. "It is smart technology packaged well to meet the challenges of its target audience: the corporate market."
BlogUnit is available March 1, 2005, with initial pricing set at under $10,000. Other models are available based on need, Geller said.
About WhatCounts, Inc.
WhatCounts (www.whatcounts.com) is a leader in corporate e-communications that develops powerful, flexible and easy-to-use communications solutions for Global 2000 corporations.
Since it was founded in 2000, WhatCounts has established itself as a leader in permission-based e-mail marketing, providing reliable ASP and enterprise platforms for corporations in the United States, Canada and Europe. With the introduction of the BlogUnit Series in 2005, the company has positioned itself at the communications intersection of e-mail marketing and the growing trend of corporate blogging.
WhatCounts is a private company headquartered in Seattle.