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Some of the more evangelical talk around blogs has them shaking the world of media apart. I found blogs an interesting way of communicating and making personal publishing easier than ever.I felt over time that blogging would affect companies reputations because of search engine rankings and would occasionally drive the news agenda.

To use two examples:

  • Some of the most consistent search engine traffic that comes to this blog is for people looking for information about Sinn watches because of this blog posting here
  • The second example is the result of a posting I wrote about Steve Ballmer’s Stolen stolen stolen which received pick up from The Register, and Wired News Cult of Mac column

However there is a limited opportunity to create a media empire from it:

  • Some early adopters like Gawker Media have managed to become successful
  • Most media companies have adapted their online presence to include blogging as it is a cheap, effective content management and publishing system (when you consider that people like the Financial Times spent tens of millions of pounds to get online)
  • Daniel Gross has a great article Twilight of the Blogs over at Slate talking about how Blogs have bubbled over, read it back-to-back with my contribution from a few years ago to FastCompany magazine online regarding the original new economy

In the same way that the net stratified out into having its own media establishment, so blogging has allowed a few people to join them. I’ve said before that the goldrush to corporate blogging reminded me of a similar rush a number of years ago on corporate webcasts and online press rooms. I am inclined to think that the business opportunity for high priced consultancy in these areas has passed. Bottom line, am I likely to subscribe to an RSS feed of a blog allegedly written by the CEO of General Motors? No more than I wanted to watch their first webcast six years ago, unless I was an analyst or journalist looking at the automotive sector.Blogging has joined the PR toolbox along with media alerts, press releases, webcasts and white papers; the difference is that the audience has to go and demand the content by clicking on a web link or subscribing to a feed in order to get it rather than receiving an email or snail mail package. In the same way that Daniel Gross talks about blogging firms selling out at the top of the market or taking venture capital funds for everything that they can get you can see a similar pattern in agency blogging:

  • Rubel’s move to Edelman has allowed him to ‘sell out’ at the top of the market and fair play to him
  • Edelman’s marketing efforts for this year will focus around podcasts, with Richard’s new offering on the Edelman home page. Podcasts work better for agencies because they require a bit more prowess than the ability to use a web browser and have basic literacy skills. Not that many people have a good ‘radio’ presence to carry it off well. On the downside they require a bit more effort and time from a consumer PoV so I am unlikely to be podcasting any time soon
  • Its a matter of routine now in my company and our competitors to put out non-game changing news purely as a blog post