Google and Twitter Favor Their Own Blogs to Break News

Last Updated Jan 7, 2010 7:20 PM EST

Over the past year the hottest web-based media companies, Google (GOOG) and Twitter, chose to eschew press conferences, trade shows, and mainstream media for the most part, in order to release their own news over their corporate blogs.

While this may dismay some in the public relations industry, it does have the democratizing effect of leveling the playing field somewhat among those of us trying to cover these fast-moving companies.

Google's blog output increased dramatically, reaching 423* posts for the year in 2009, a 15 percent increase over 2008. The search giant's blog audience surged by 21 percent to around 14.5 million unique page views.

More than half of Google Blog's visitors came from overseas, with India trailing only the U.K. as the leading country of origin outside of the U.S.

By far, the most popular blog post of the year was the announcement of the Google Chrome OS on July 7, which garnered over 12 percent of the blog's annual total page views.

Twitter's blog posts remained much more intermittent than Google's, as is to be expected of the much smaller and younger company, and for much of the year, co-founder Biz Stone contributed the overwhelming majority of items.

But as 2009 wound down, Stone was joined by several new voices, to the point he only posted four times (two of which were short items about an outage) during the month of December, and has not yet appeared at all on the company blog in 2010.

As companies like these grow, their unique cultures change, naturally. As will their public relations strategies. But for now, it is kind of nice to know that you are able to find out what is going on inside Google and Twitter, much as you might about an old friend, just by stopping by their blogs.

(*Note: For the record, I posted 384 times here at BNET Media in 2009, a figure that certainly would have topped 400 but for a protracted illness in December. My goal is keep up in volume with Google's blog in 2010. and with this post, we are tied.)

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital, Salon.com, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.