In fact, corporate blogs and corporate social network profiles came in at the bottom of the scale, with just 16% and 18% of consumers putting any trust in them, which ranked them as even less trusted than direct mail and message boards. As of last November, according to SocialText, only 12.8%, or 64 Fortune 500 business were blogging, but thousands of smaller companies have launched blogs to communicate directly with various stakeholder communities.

But what is behind this striking lack of trust in U.S. brand blogs? One key reason is that consumers recognize typical online brand communication efforts (Web sites, blogs, social networking pages) are but extensions of corporate marketing efforts and have one goal, "to push products and services to consumers." In fact, an earlier Forrester study of Fortune 500 blogs founds this to be the case.

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