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Even if you’re a corporate executive who lives under a rock and therefore have not read any of the front page and cover stories about business blogging, eMarketer’s $695, 15-page report on The Business of Blogging would not be worth the money. The information has been reported on by a variety of blogs and online publications, and brings no new insights to the conversation.
The report says that it is highly unlikely that major corporations will start blogging because that would require “a change at the root level of corporate culture.” Ahem! That revolution has been going on for a long time and it’s not going away any time soon.
There is some good information, just not anything new.
To be fair, the report does say blogs are important, and it does provide a less breathless view than a lot of the hyped up reports about blogs taking over the world. The report has many contradictions and no clear point of view.
However, the report says, “big businesses have to pay close attention to blog posts, even those that appear on low-traffic sites, because a hallmark of the blogging community is constant attention to other blogs, and a provocative post will end up being linked to by numerous other blogs, which in turn will engender further links…” Yup, that’s how it works. Ask Dan Rather.
Few blogs have achieved circulation levels that marketers would usually require, eMarketer notes. But they don’t mention Instapundit’s 80 million monthly page views, or the fact that a blog with 100 daily visitors can rock the corporate world with a one-paragraph post. In blogs, it ain’t the meat, it’s the motion. Small, smart and hot trumps big, cautious and corporate any day.
Thr report does say that blogs can have PR value, but it doesn’t even mentuion that Microsoft has 1,400 employees blogging, including Robert Scoble,who’s helped to put a human face on a much re-viled brand. That’s a pretty big oversight.
Blogs’ small circulations
The report suggests that advertising on blogs is cheap and therefore worth trying because blogs’ small circulation makes the risk small. Wrongo! Ask Captain Morgan Rum how their small investment in their godawful advertising blog backfired.
The report also has the nasty tendency to quote people quoted in other reports (like me) without attributing the quotes. Bad form, you guys.
Ignore the future and you won’t have any
eMarketer repeats several times that young people are the main audience and publishers of blogs. That is contradicted by other studies, like the ones done by Blogads But this makes me wonder who eMarketer thinks are the future customers and stakeholders of big business. Fail to talk to your future customers and you may find you don’t have any!
Thus far, the report says, blogs have made their mark mostly as media watchdogs and they are likely to become acquisition targets for mainstream media publishers. This is one of my favorite lines: “The difference is that “amateurs” no longer need a big publishing organization to make their images and reporting available to a wider audience – although their work is likely to be seen by far more people if it is picked u0p by a major publisher.” Translation, bloggers break stories. Mainstream media picks them up. The stories get a wider audience. How is that lack of influence?
Luddites will lose
No business person can afford the Luddite approach of closing their ears to information about blogs. In the end effect, blogs are simply a content management system that can be used interactively for marketing, journalism, and all kinds of information transmission. It’s like not updating from Windows 95. Eventually, you simply won’t be able to communicate with other businesses.