Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Marketing Impact on Blogs, Web 2.0

Increasingly I find my professional life entwined with Web 2.0 promotion. In fact, I am now working on three different paid for projects that involve blogging or other Web 2.0 media in some way.

I know a lot of bloggers feel protective of the space. They feel blogging is an independent medium that should never be affected by special interests. Hmm, wasn’t that James Madison’s argument in the Federalist Papers essay # 10? Unfortunately for us, Madison was referring to our federal government and not blogs. Too late on the first account, and given the capitalist nature of the world, blogs will be the increasing focus of marketing professionals.

Much can be said about the use of media to affect opinion. Newspapers and other news media claim to be independent. As a PR professional, I would argue they are more likely semi-autonomous. The influence of spin is significant, and thought many of the major media outlets and journalists like to claim autonomy, they still miss the boat frequently. In fact, one would argue that blogs are this successful simply because people sense a lack of authenticity when reading news.

Why do marketing execs want a piece of blog nation? Why is it so important? Marketing Slave wrote up an interesting summary of a recent Jupiter report on blogging. The essence is that people trust actual product users more than any other media. 77 percent to be exact.

But wait… the taint of marketing begins to fall upon blogs. Check this quote out from the blog entry:

“Riley said word of mouth, defined as online conversations, between two people that know each other is the most trustworthy method to gain information, but it’s losing trust because many strangers are entering the conversation.”

Interesting. Very interesting. As a marketer, I think that we need to be very careful about our approach to promotion through blogging. One must assume that if enough blogs are compromised the medium suffers. I suppose eventually this is inevitable. Then the reader must become discerning, selecting blogs that can be trusted.

As a blogger, I am very hesitant to cite other people’s stuff, unless I think it has merit. I actually think that’s why people may read this thing. The message is clear to me. Blogs for promotion need to offer value to their readers, and they must offer authentic opinion. If the product, knowledge or service is mediocre coupled with untrue shameless promotion then the integrity of the blog is destroyed. And it will lose credibility and readers. This is the way of things. I see it in the tea leaves.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "2.O" moniker might already be having a backlash though.

8:57 AM  

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