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Software company secures blogging success

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There's little doubt that 3VR is doing blogging right. The San Francisco-based security firm sells software that wades through hundreds of hours of video captured by security cameras to derive patterns and insights. As a technology innovator in a mature industry, founder Steve Russell was looking for new ways to whip up enthusiasm. Blogging was a low-cost, low-risk option.

“When we came along with something that radically improved the technology, we figured there'd be a great appetite,” Russell said. “The blog was a natural extension of the venues we were using to communicate.”

Currently, the blog gets 21,600 page views per month, with1,000 daily visitors since early June. One entry about the South Korean National Police deployment of facial recognition technology for Seoul's plentiful video surveillance cameras, attracted 3,400 unique visitors.

Russell's original blog, In Hard Focus, has since been joined by a company blog. In both cases, the content is educational and industry-focused, rather than promotional. One recent entry offered readers advice on how to choose to a video camera while another featured a transcript of a conversation with a university professor about smart cameras. Bay Area public relations agency Launchsquad helped develop an editorial calendar and assists with editing articles by Russell and 3VR employees.

The blog is integrated with 3VR's conventional public relations program as a way to influence key journalists, said Jesse Odell, a Launchsquad partner. As a result, “People regard 3VR as a thought leader on the things that matter to the company: Security, privacy and technology.” 3VR has been cited more than 20 times in the media this year.

Russell says he's been surprised at the blog's reach. “I talk to prominent security directors, city planners and government officials all the time, and I'm always amazed at how many have read our blogs,” he said.

What are the secrets behind Russell's success? He cited these three items:

  • Have good content. (“If you can't add to a reader's knowledge, it's not worth doing,” Russell said).
  • Participate in a conversation that can endure for a long time.
  • Keep content fresh by actively looking for new things to say.
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