A couple of interesting changes reported out of Amway this week. The first was the opening of the new Amway Insider blog site – http://blogs.amway.com. Amway was a bit of a pioneer in the corporate blogging world when they launched first Robin Luymes Real Quixtar blog and then Beth Dornan’s Quixtar Insider blog. In December 2006 they however made what I began to think of as a strategic mistake – they launched The OpportunityZone and progressively added more and more blogs from more and more contributors.
On the face of it you might think that was a good idea, however there’s two reasons why it’s generally a bad idea to have so many blogs! First of all it’s a burden on your staff. Blog posting essentially became yet another task for what were already busy staff – and not surprisingly after various initial flurries of activity, most of the postings started to trail off in frequency.
The other reason is that it’s tough for your audience. It was extremely difficult to keep up with all the different blogs, and even harder to keep a conversation going. When building an online community you have to build the community, and conversation, first – only then you can think about expanding. It appears there will be a lot fewer blogs individual blogs in the new setup, so more regular postings, easier to track, and easier to keep a conversation going. Smart move Amway.
The other interesting news is out today is the announcement of the closing of some manufacturing and warehousing facilities and the moving of some manufacturing to Europe and Asia. Given 80% of Amway’s sales are outside the United States (and that sounds a significant underestimate to me), it makes smart business sense to have manufacturing facilities closer to your customers. It’s clearly bad news for the local communities where the facilities are closing, but for them I have a simple solution – support your local Amway distributor and buy Amway products. It means jobs in your town, and you get the bonus of some of the best products in the world! Again – smart move Amway.