Bummer that I missed PubCon this week but I have just been traveling way too much lately. Speaking of traveling, I was in Indianapolis last week visiting the offices of Compendium Blogware. I got a demo of their hosted blog platform — including a look under the hood — and it’s pretty slick. There were features and functionality I had never seen before in blog software. One of the key differentiators, and the reason for the company’s name, is the “compending” capability that their solution does. A compended blog is comprised of a collection of posts from other blogs, but all from within the same company. A company can have many employees blogging — customer service reps, salespeople, product developers etc. If a manufacturer, then dealers/distributors/retailers could join in on the fun too. The appeal for companies who want to encourage employee blogging is that it’s dead simple to use, which is critical if you want wide adoption across the company. Here’s how it works: say that Bob from a Ford dealership blogs about the new Ford Mustang after he takes it for his first test drive. There are compended blogs for Mustangs, for sports cars, for pickups, etc. Without Bob having to think about it, his blog post gets compended automatically (using sophisticated content analysis algorithms) to the “Mustangs” and the “Sports Cars” blogs, but not the “Pickups” blog. Blog posts that have been compended still maintain a canonical URL on the main blog, and that one canonical URL (of the permalink post page) is referenced consistently across all compended blogs on permalink post pages via a canonical link element (i.e. canonical tag). That eliminates duplicate copies of the permalink post page. The content of the post is nonetheless included on the compended blogs — in a fashion not dissimilar to post content being included on category pages, tag pages and date-based archives on WordPress blogs. Here’s an example of two compended blogs (#1 and #2) and a post that is contained on both. When considering duplicate content as it relates to SEO, bear in mind it’s not a penalty, but a filter, and that filter works query-time to favor the most relevant and authoritative result for the query entered. Given that, a particular compended blog will be most appropriate to the query, e.g. the query “2010 mustang sports car” would be most relevant to the Sports Cars blog. Note also the compended blogs are in subdirectories, not subdomains. The typical company will have a handful or perhaps dozens of compended blogs, large enterprises may have hundreds. It wouldn’t be unusual that a new post published on a WordPress blog and is in a couple categories and in a dozen tags would be duplicated (16 times including the date-based archives and home page, to be exact) more than a post on a typical Compendium network.
Interesting concept, but I was surprised to see the 2 blogs used in the example looked to be just 2 categories from the same blog. I had expected 2 entirely separate domains from the description of the blogware. How is this different from an auto-categorizing or auto-tagging feature, if it’s placing posts into “blogs” on the same domain?
Douglas Karr says
@Jill – at its heart, auto-categorization of posts is the compending process.
Aside from compending, Compendium has accomplished is built an ‘all-in-one’ or ‘out of the box solution’ that is simple to use, scalable, and secure.
Companies who want to fully leverage blogging right now are forced to hire SEO consultants, theme designers, blog coaches, etc…. not to mention having an IT guru handy to handle maintenance updates and to keep their site safe and performing well.
If you’re a large company, with 25 bloggers, you’re looking at a lot of time and resources to get your blog up and running – not to mention enlisting monitoring, backup and security services to ensure your blog stays alive and well.
You may have read a lot in the news lately on the primary blogging platform being hacked… this isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. Companies are investing a lot of employee time in their blogs – to lose it or have it hijacked could spell disaster for a large corporation.
Full disclosure: I worked at Compendium and I’m a shareholder. I, ironically, also have a WordPress blog and have developed a number of WordPress integrations and plugins.
Compendium is the right choice for every company that needs an out of the box solution that’s going to leverage blogging to gain inbound leads. Your company can sign up with Compendium and be up within a week or so!
And you can rest easy at night that someone is monitoring, backing up, and maintaining your blogging platform! Not to mention coming in each week and having some folks coaching and guiding your company to success.
Stephan Spencer says
Good question! I require too much access “under the hood” to be a good candidate for anything other than open source software that’s installed on my own server.