So…today I’m in a meeting discussing an online venture and the topic turns to blogging.
Of course, I say that it would be a great addition to an online portfolio. But one of the meeting’s participants was completely turned off by the concept of blogs as a marketing and information tool.
“I think people want to get information from a “real website”. I don’t trust all these Joe Blows ranting their opinion on blogs.”
Keep in mind that this person is intelligent, keeps on top of current trends, and is fairly tech-savvy. Of course, I don’t think he knew that a “blogger” was in the room.
And everywhere, it’s the same. The other day in South Bend after my blogging presentation, a member of the audience raised her hand and asked me,
“I don’t mean to be rude, but what kind of person would want to be a blogger or read a blog?”
Blogging has gotten a reputation similar to infomercials and telemarketing. Whereas marketers know the value of these applications when they’re done right, the masses see them as ways to sell Ginsu Knives and interrupt your dinner. And now it’s the same with blogs. The term “blog” to John Q. Public means “my-space-political-rant-here’s-what’s-happening-with-my-cats-unabomber-manifesto.”
What’s the cause? Well, there ARE a lot of weird hacks in the blogosphere who are ranting about an obscure opinion and/or telling 3 people what they just had for lunch. These people are loud and their version of “blog” has become the public perception.
But, in reality, blogs are a way to connect with a niche community. There are lots of bloggers who have dedicated focused communities. They are the new town square where everyone has a voice. If you’re wanting to reach a narrowly defined market who can communicate with you on a two-way street about their needs, a blog is one answer. (but not the only answer)
But as “social media” grows (not just blogging), we’ll see people gathering information from all these web communities and using it. Instead of one mass media message being sent out from one source, people will pick and choose the information that matters to them from hundreds of sources.
And to marketers and advertisers who are despondent about the fact they’re losing the ability to reach an audience through media, the reality is the exact opposite. There’s a better opportunity. Instead of wasting dollars sending a message to a mass audience that consists of 99% of people who aren’t interested and don’t care…just to reach the 1% that do, social media offers the ultimate in pinpointing a targeted market and being able to deliver information that consumers are willing to receive.