I woke up this morning and found a lot of buzz on Twitter about this ReadWriteWeb story that reports how companies in the Inc. 500 list are blogging less. But that headline may not really explain what’s going on.
According to a study from the University of Massachusetts, only 37 percent of companies in the 2011 Inc. 500 are blogging — down from 50 percent in 2010. Here’s the chart:
If you just look at the numbers, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about blogging being on the decline. But Mark Schaefer read into things a little more deeply and makes a couple salient observations:
- There’s a lot of churn in who makes the Inc. 500 list. Companies that were in 2-3 years ago may not be in this year, because it’s a list of the fastest-growing companies and growth naturally slows down over time.
- This year’s list has an increasing amount of companies providing services to the government, and that industry isn’t big on blogging.
In fact, the study’s authors point out this last point:
Changes in industry composition of the Inc. 500 over the past two years are reflected in our sample and have impacted our overall statistics in distinct ways. There has been an increase in companies providing Government Services (a result of some of the Obama initiatives). These companies increased their presence in the Inc. 500 in 2010 and again in 2011 and are less likely to use certain social media tools.
So while the stats may show that the Inc. 500 is blogging less, it may not be because blogging is on the decline … it may be because the Inc. 500 is different than it was a couple years ago.