Yesterday I learned that Mark and Aaron Zimbelman have an accounting blog, FraudBytes. It’s nice to be able to welcome another established accouting academic (and an up-and-comer) to the world of new media.  I have added FraudBytes to our blogroll (see the left column), and also took the opportunity to conduct a short email interview, so we can all get a sense of what these intrepid souls are trying to accomplish.

Hey, thanks for sending this, and good luck with the blog.  I am glad to put you on the blog roll, and I would love to write a post announcing your new blog.  Are you willing to do this in the form of a text interview?  Here are the questions I would like on-the-record (copy and pastable) answers to.

RJB:  Congratulations on starting a blog.  Blogs are unusual for academics, and almost non-existent for accounting academics.  What made you decide to do this?

AARON Z. We meet together frequently and discuss current events in fraud.  We feel that our discussions are very useful in helping us to better understand fraud.  We decided to start FraudBytes because we wanted to create a forum where all can benefit by participating in the discussion of fraud.  We plan to focus on corporate governance and external auditing as a deterrent to financial statement fraud.

RJB: Who is your target audience?  Other academics?  Readers of the popular business press?

AZ:  We hope that our blog can be a resource to both academics and practitioners who have an interest in preventing and detecting financial statement fraud.

RJB:  Will you be bringing on other authors?

AZ:  We would like to feature occasional guest authors who are experts in fraud detection and prevention.  If we have guest authors who would like to contribute regularly to our blog, we would consider inviting them to be permanent authors.

RJB: Some blogs focus on just getting the message out, while others work hard to get rich comment streams and lots of user input.  Which direction will you go?  (If the latter, how will you get accounting researchers to participate.

AZ: Our focus is mainly to provide good content that is useful for those who want to keep current on fraud.  We hope for comments but don’t have specific plans to encourage participation.

RJB: We are both accountants, so eventually our conversation will turn toward metrics for performance evaluation.  Do you have specific objectives for your blog?  Have you thought about how are you going to measure “success”?

AZ: We hope that individuals who are introduced to our blog will keep coming back and we hope to maximize our exposure to individuals interested in fraud prevention and detection.  We are using Google Analytics to measure our blog exposure and visitor loyalty.

RJB:  You’ve been reading the FASRI blog.  Any advice for us?

AZ:  We find the posts to the FASRI blog to be very interesting, however, we would love to see more frequent posts.

Of course…it’s all about the content.  Maintaining an active blog is a lot of work, but ieach individual post doesn’t take much time.  If you would like to see more frequent posts on FASRI, help us out.  One post every other week adds up, when we get a lot of hands (and minds) on board.  Climb on!