All our Best Business Blog Award Winners so far have been passionate and enthusiastic about their chosen topics – qualities which make their blog posts enjoyable to read and which engage their users sufficiently to create a genuine dialogue between author and audience.
They’re also qualities which are shared by our winners in the Technology and Sustainability category. What marks today’s winners out though is their selection of blog topics.
They’ve both made bold and, some might say, courageous decisions to blog primarily not on their core business but on a topic close to the author’s heart.
This is brave for two reasons: firstly, the blog isn’t necessarily going to help you drum up new business – because people searching for the topic you blog about aren’t necessarily interested in the product or service you sell. Secondly, your thoughts and opinions about your chosen subject – especially if it’s a politically sensitive topic like sustainability – will sometimes have the potential to conflict with your business interests.
We’re especially grateful then that today’s winners have decided to take the risk – a risk which is far outweighed by the brilliance of their blogging on their favourite subjects.
Let’s meet them…
About: Interface is the world’s largest designer and maker of carpet tiles. An impressive enough status in and of itself but there’s more to the company than grey squares of carpet: they’ve made sustainability a core element of the company’s ethos. Their blog, Cut the Fluff is authored by their European Sustainability Director Ramon Arratia.
Interface’s commitment to sustainability is remarkable: as far back as 1994 their Chairman Ray Anderson decided that current industry practice was unsustainable, that industry inherently uses up the Earth’s resources as part of the production processes at the same time as causing harmful effects through pollution and emissions.
In response, the company came up with Mission Zero: the target of eliminating all negative impact of the business on people and the environment by 2020. This would make the company entirely sustainable.
This all sounds great – and somewhat familiar – but we find from reading the blog that in fact this isn’t just the usual ‘greenwash’ we’ve become accustomed to. They are actually trying to achieve it and want your business to do it too.
Ramon’s posts mix coverage of developments within Interface that propel them closer to their stated aims, news on sustainability and corporate social responsibility from around the world and video posts that explain complex sustainability issues or provide commentary on the actions of other companies or governments.
Clearly enthused about the possibility of achieving sustainability through design and technological innovation, Ramon takes great care to explain the issues thoroughly and invite discussion in a relaxed, informal but entirely serious way.
More power to him!
In this video Ramon shows how the really exciting developments in sustainability come through looking outside one’s sector…
About: Matt Edgar is a service design, innovation and product management consultant based in Leeds. He used to be a newspaper journalist, which explains his accomplished writing style, and a history student, which explains his rather eclectic mix of subjects…
Not content to stick to one particular niche, Matt writes about pretty much everything that interests him – which is a lot: the history of innovation and technology, the way people use technology and how it propagates, the way people interact with their landscapes, branding and design, copyright law and letter writing.
And these are just topics that have been covered in 2012.
But despite his far ranging eclecticism, Matt’s blog never seems off the wall or like he’s trying to be diverse just for the sake of diversity. His ceaseless curiosity and desire to understand – and thus ignite our curiosity – is ever present and totally infectious.
In short – he’s a worthy winner of must-read status.
Top post: The future beneath our feet
The text of Matt’s speech to the Leeds Digital Conference in October starts in London 1763, takes us on an exploratory walk through the street lights and skylines of Leeds City Centre and ends with his predictions for the future of digital innovation. A breathtaking journey.