Brothers laud business benefits of blogging

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Blog Brothers!”

Vancouver’s Stephen and Michael Jagger are among a growing population of small and medium-sized business owners using weblogs for marketing.

“It’s different than finding a website,” said Ubertor Inc. president Stephen Jagger. “It talks about who you are and what you do. A blog is more personalized.”

A blog can cost as much as a couple hundred dollars to operate, but many are done using free sites like Google-owned The rest of the investment is in time.

A blog can help generate buzz and feedback for products and services because the medium, when properly used, is one that lends itself to sharing information instead of blatant promotion. A blog can be the classic case of news you can use.

Ubertor formed six years ago as web-hosting company Combustion Labs Media Inc. By 2004, nearly all of the 19 employees were busy with real estate clients. The company launched the Ubertor real estate web-design software template last year. The Ubertor blog includes links to other blogs, such as online classified revolutionary Craig from Craigslist, archives back to August 2004, testimonials from realtors and explanations of the Ubertor strategy.

Stephen Jagger describes a blog as a “glorified newsletter” that archives data so people can follow the evolution of information and opinions.

It connects the company to clients outside markets where Ubertor employs salespeople and allows them to learn about the company, ultimately converting them into customers.

Nielsen estimates 4.8 per cent of Americans publish blogs, while 6.6 per cent have downloaded a podcast.

New York-based JupiterResearch reported last month that 35 per cent of large companies plan to begin corporate blogs in 2006.

Jupiter found that blogs are “underused for generating word-of-mouth marketing opportunities. Only 32 per cent of marketing executives said they use corporate weblogs to generate word of mouth around their company’s products or services.”

“We have had incredible success with our own blog and as a result, find ourselves regularly answering e-mailed questions from all over the world,” said Michael Jagger, president of Provident Security and Event Management Corp.

He started after a year of prodding from brother Stephen.

“From a marketing standpoint, we have found the blog to be the single most effective marketing effort that we have ever made [and by far the cheapest],” Michael Jagger said.

Provident’s blog covers a variety of issues, from the incompatibility of some Internet telephony with alarm systems, to crime reports, home security tips, burglary statistics and information about community events, such as the annual Kitsilano Soapbox Derby.

Provident has 175 employees with 4,000 clients.

Jagger, a Business in Vancouver 40-under-40 alumnus, is a Simon Fraser University criminology graduate who began the company 10 years ago as a student.

After he notified 100 clients of his blog in March, 70 went to the blog in 12 hours and 41 of those signed up to be e-mailed automatically with every content update made to the blog.

“At the end of the day, the world is a better place on the Internet if more people are blogging,” said Stephen Jagger.

Published July 25, 2006 · Business In Vancouver · Written by Bob Mackin

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