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Forbes, which recently bashed bloggers as lynch mobs in a cover story, has changed its tune about blogging.The current Forbes has advice from Tom Taulli on how companies can use the blogosphere as part of their marketing.
This is one instance in which I’d like to see the reporter’s notes because the column seems to have been strangely edited, perhaps by an editor who is clueless about blogging. Some of the comments seem clearly to have been taken out of context. Or maybe Taulli really doesn’t get blogs. You decide. Here’s his advice:
track and publish blogs “It is also important to track links to your blog from companies like Dell (nasdaq: DELL – news – people ) and Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ). ” huh?
In a quote no doubt taken out of context, “To get noticed by bloggers, companies should appoint internal bloggers and start them blogging,” said [Bob] Wyman (of PubSub). “Of course, the blogs must be authentic. Also, companies can sponsor blogging events and meet the bloggers themselves to see what makes them tick.”
I’ve met and spoken with Wyman, and I’m sure he said something more complex, and accurate than that. And I doubt he’d intentionally make bloggers sound like Martians. We’re just journalists using a different medium than MSM.
Taulli should also note that those who blog for companies should have something interesting to say, be decent writers, and have the wherewithall to maintain a frequently updated blog. It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. Don’t believe anyone who tells you any different.
– Provide Real News
“Influential bloggers tend to specialize on narrow topics. To get their attention, you need to provide them with stories that have not already hit the mainstream media.”
Interesting that Taulli suggests that blogs are a better place than MSM to break news. I know from my logs that journalists troll this and other blogs for stories.
– Advertise on Blogs
Good advice, strange reasoning:
“For the most part, blogs make little or no money. Consequently, if you advertise on one, it is likely to provide good exposure–and probably be very cost effective.”
I’m sure mainstream journos love to think that we bloggers do it for love and they do it for money, but a lot of us bloggers make very nice livings as the result of our blogs, thank you.
He’s right about the good exposure from blog advertising. In just four weeks, a $25K blog advertising investment in ads on 177 blogs, at an average of 20 cents per click, helped generate almost half of the one million uniques on the Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt campaign that I created for Budget Car Rental this fall.
– Use Blogs As Customer Service
By which I believe he means, read them to spot potential issues and address them quickly. Sound advice.
-Join the Conversation in the Blogosphere
“Blogs are all about open conversation and an attitude focused on accelerating the delivery of information in a more informal manner,” said said Jeff Browning, the director of product management at F5. “But all too often, words like ‘leverage’ and ‘integrated’ and ‘synergy’ replace the words real people use in candid, natural conversation. There is no ivory tower, so to speak.”
In other words, don’t bullshit bloggers. Save the corporate speak for the annual report.
All in all, the article seems like a begrudging nod to the influence of blogging. It treats us like we might bite a company on the ass. Which we might.