Program: Connected Life Exchange blog
Why we liked it: Cisco Systems has pioneered a new approach to content marketing that moves the conversation from products and technologies up a level to larger societal issues. The company's recently overhauled news site—The Network—embodies this approach. In the same vein, Connected Life Exchange (CLE) is like few business blogs we've seen. Launched in February 2011, CLE aims to raise awareness about the value of networks through a series of stories, opinions and educational essays that demonstrate how connections are changing everything from government to sewer lines. Many of the stories come from outside the U.S., a trait that enhances Cisco's global perspective. A companion video series, “The Network Effect,” documents the history of networks going back to the completion of the trans-Atlantic cable in 1858. The whole package is refreshingly nonpromotional and often fascinating. Cisco continues to innovate in the suddenly red-hot field of content marketing with an approach to thought leadership that emphasizes actual thinking.