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Instead of poo pooing blogs, this week Frank Barnako of CBS Marketwatch is investigating blogging’s value. Today he interviews Charlotte Li, editor of a new $349 Forrester report, Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal? When and How Businesses Should Use Blogs (A slight pause for a word from our sponsor: Gee, my new report, What Could Your Company Do With a Blog: How Smart Companies Use Blogs for Marketing and PR Success and How You Can Too, is only $97 and covers much of the same territory.)
Li tells Barnako that blogging, “… is a real commitment. You have to maintain it. It can become very ravenous. The audience expects a certain involvement on your part.”
Asked if her blog brings Forrester business, she replies, “Obviously, I wouldn’t be doing this unless there was some sort of hope that it would help our clients, attract new clients, and exert a greater influence in the marketplace.”
And she predicts, “There is one company which is going to make a huge difference in this, and that is Yahoo. Even though Yahoo doesn’t have blogs, they have been a leader in integrating RSS feeds into My Yahoo. Now anybody who has a blog can have that appear on someone’s My Yahoo. That really is customized media.”
Forrester’s Executive Summary says that “blogging will grow in importance, and at a minimum, companies should monitor blogs to learn what is being said about their products and services. Companies that plan to create their own public blogs should already feel comfortable having a close, two-way relationship with users.”
Robert Bly, on the other hand, still has his head in a dark place. His DM News editor, Tad Clarke, reports today that Bly told him, despite the outcry over his column, that “Not one iota of proof to support a position [about blogging as the next big thing in marketing] as far as I can see.”
I wonder if DM News has a vision plan for its contributors? Bly needs one.
UPDATE, 11/09/04: Bob Bly emailed me tonight and said:
I like your writing, but your claim that “bob bly is looking for a way to build readership for his column. he wants to get bloggers talking about him to build links to his column” could not be more wrong.
You can see from my column that I don’t consider blogs influential or important — so why would I want bloggers to talk about me?
In truth, responding to all the e-mail from bloggers my article generated cost me almost a full day of billable time … so I am about $4,000 in the hole already!
The idea of deliberately manipulating people to build links to my site is something, that if you knew me better, you’d know would never occur to me in a billion years.
Bob Bly

Bly wrote to NevilleHobson, “I think what you and others in the blogging community miss is that there is this huge portion of the world that isn’t “into” your stuff.
We don’t read blogs, make posts, visit chat rooms, or buy into the Cluetrain Manifesto. That’s why the only Kryptonite I know about makes Superman sick!
I still have largely the same opinion about blogs…

You see, Bob, I don’t follow sports, so I don’t comment on them. In fact, I keep my posts and the many articles I write, to topics I know a lot about.
When you start reading blogs, and get yourself up to speed on the latest research and articles about them, your opinion about blogs will start to matter. Meantime, you just stick with your comfort zone and keep ignoring The Cluetrain Manifesto.