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Forum: Corporate blogging in Pakistan

Rabia Garib | Sept. 3, 2008
Considering Pakistan's blogosphere has experienced a great deal of growth, what do some of the bloggers have to say about the trends revolving around corporate blogging?

But these comments just don't add up. If there isn't as much traffic growing online, then why the rapid increase in the number of Web2.0-enabled websites, portals and communities which have sprung in the past 12 months? TeethMaestro explains, "Obviously most of this has to do with the fact that internet use in this country is still very very low. There are still major businesses in Karachi which operate on faxes and have not made the transition to email as yet. They simply do not trust the internet. Secondly, of the people that use the internet, most do it for, shall we just say, fickle purposes? It's rather ironic that in our country, one of the most searched-for-terms is 'paris hilton'."

There is still no consensus on what the internet penetration in Pakistan. Without any unbiased, third-party survey in place, we seem to be stuck at a figure 7% penetration. Granted that GPRS and WiMAX access points don't fit into this assumptive figure, but until there is a verifiable number, how can the prospect be presented to the corporation to attract their investment of time, money or content? Until and unless internet penetration in Pakistan goes up, executives in Pakistan will still cater to the 93% of the market through traditional means and perhaps rightfully so.

But innovation! Is there no role for innovation and sustainability? Tee Emm says, "My theory says that to blog on a corporate level, you must be at the top of the value chain, inventing, creating and devising new stuff all the time. Google is a great example. They do something great and they have tons of stuff to blog about on almost a daily basis. By the same token, NGOs, schools, genuine local brands and music bands do innovate and create all the time. Those are the people who have access to create fresh content all the time and these are the guys that should be taking up blogging as a full time career." The bottom of the pyramid approach is it?

Commenting on the access and integrity of content, Faisal says, "As internet usage grows and perhaps through the use of GPRS on cell phones, rural areas will be able to afford a cell phone rather than a pc and blogging will become the rage. However in order to go mainstream, we need both attention and integrity - too many bloggers today just take the days news and do a rehash of it. The aim is not to provide original content but to fill up space."

TeethMaestro further indulges in the traffic rant saying, "My blog records an average of about 3000 visitors a day. 38% of the traffic is generated from the US and only 25% originates from Pakistan. Is it worth for a company to spend an arm and a leg (or a tooth) for 25% or 625 people coming into my online blog? Maybe not. Until that ROI doesn't figure itself out, I think the executives are probably right to focus their work on the mainstream, off-line market."


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