The "business of blogs" in 23 words and a paraphrase…

posted by Brendan Hodgson

A week or so ago I was interviewed by Tamara Cherry of the Toronto Star about corporate blogging, and character sites in particular… You can read the article (which appeared today) here.

In addition to my 23 words of fame (plus a paraphrase), Cherry also quotes Steve Rubel, Rick Bruner, and Dave Taylor (who you can also find here). And while the overall opinion among the collective punditry - about character blogs in general, and Bacardi’s betterthanbeer effort specifically – appears to be shared, the key point of the story was, I believe, only just touched on.

As Dave mentions in the article, and as I alluded to in my conversation with Tamara, a blog is really nothing more than an easy-to-use content management system that allows anyone to publish, well, whatever they want onto the web. It is, as Dave mentions, “just a tool.”

However, the real impact is the effectiveness by which a company uses that tool and, more importantly, how that usage is perceived and received by the target audience. In the end, does it matter that a bunch of PR folk and marketers are questioning the efforts of a company in using a blog to reach out to their customers? Not so much. What matters is if it hits a “sweet spot” with customers. If it doesn’t, you’ll hear about it.

Like Bruner, I tend to agree that Bacardi’s effort lacks what’s needed to make it stand out and have impact. Most certainly, I think it offends the blogging purists who believe a blog is exclusively a vehicle for conversation and engagement between ‘real’ people. I much prefer Guinness‘ effort – it’s transparent, it has ‘genuine’ personality, and you know who you’re dealing with. That said, let’s encourage experimentation… because the rules have yet to be written.



Dave Taylor

Actually, just between us, I figure that anything that "offends the blogging purists" is probably good because it means it’s pushing on the edges of the proverbial envelope, Brendan! :-)



Ryan Anderson

I’ve had the conversation with a lot of people about what a blog really is, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who content that it’s nothing more than a tool.  While I don’t completely disagree, I feel that reducing the blog to "just a tool" is akin to saying the same about the wheel.  Blogs have not only changed the way we consume information, it has also, in a lot of ways, changed how we talk to consumers.  

The big revolution is not the technology, but the social change that it has caused.

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