Internet marketing firm TMA E-Marketing launched the iBlog Business Directory to help people find the most relevant information on blog postings geared toward specific industry trends, topics and research.
Code from a third-party software developer got the directory, which offers 32 business-related categories, up and running within months, according to Christian Del Monte, TMA E-Marketing's vice president of operations. "We're still working out some of the bugs," Del Monte said. "We still have a few pages to post, and plan to add categories on the site as it grows."
Web pages, such as About Us, Contact, and Privacy and Policies, should post within the week. And in July, the company will add a separate podcast search engine, too, at www.ibizradio.com.
Advertisements, however, are a distraction users won't see. Del Monte said TMA E-Marketing won't buy into the advertising model from Google AdSense on either the podcast or the blog directory site. In time, he said, a more traditional approach displaying banner seems more likely, if at all.
The fledgling blog directory received mixed reviews from analysts and businesses. "Many business users rely on Google Blog Search, Yahoo Search Blog and Technorati, so functions on a new site would have to offer more to attract traffic," said Marianne Wolk, senior Internet analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. "It would require, for example, the site to offer RSS feeds."
The iBlog Business Directory doesn't offer real simple syndication (RSS) today, but that's a feature Del Monte plans to include next.
Forrester Research Inc. senior analyst Peter Kim found the idea of having a blog directory that could target specific business topics interesting. "It's more likely this approach could help people find information on a topic or a company faster, rather than going to a central directory," he said. "As the general public gets more familiar with blogs, the less people will view them as a special search and information tool."
Blogs will become a natural tool that more businesses will integrate into their communications strategy, Kim said. But TMA E-Marketing might see difficulties near terms when it comes to getting larger companies to signup with the iBlog Business Directory site.
Take Intuit Inc. for example. QuickBase, through its blog, aims to communicate with customers about software-as-a-service (SaaS), Web 2.0, AJAX, security and related product information. QuickBase general manager Jana Eggers doubts the hosted applications service company will add their blog to iblogbsuienss.com at this time. "Based on the top searches on the home page, they are not hitting our target," she said. "If this new directory grows into being a place like that, then yes, we would reconsider."