20 February 2008

The Benefits of Blogging / Social Media - Part #1

Back to the debate about social media and its effectiveness...

Here's a series of musing about the marketing and business benefit / non-benefit of blogging. Enjoy! Comments welcome, as always...

The Benefits of Blogging / Social Media - Part #1

ONE. The ability to get a message out quicker than any other media form. The message might happen to be 95% personal opinion - but it's opinion that tends to govern itself in terms of validity. Social media tools like Digg and Reddit bring the concept of sharing and rating content to a whole new level. In fact, most news stories seem to be breaking quicker in the blogosphere than on network television.

It does raise an interesting point: if there is so much content, so much opinion and it distributes so quickly... just how do you sort the good from the bad? Digg proved it had its own problems in 2006 when a fake story about faulty PS3's leapt to the front page. No-one fact checked. They just digg'd away and caused a minor PR catastrophe. Are the rating functions within social media tools ENOUGH to sort the good from the bad? Does the blogosphere REALLY fact check itself?

TWO. Content now comes to you. Gone are the days (soon) of trawling the web for content. I'd even go as far as to say - it's a good thing Google got into blogging, because RSS is about to take over. Unless it gets stuffed thick with advertising that is...

RSS technology is one of a few original offerings that blogging has brought to the world. Once the mainstream market figure out how to use an RSS Reader - and when those readers get onto cellphones (already seeing this on the latest generation Nokia/Sony's) - THEN we've got a technology. Just wait till RSS moves to video / TV based content...

THREE. The ability to build a personal profile and earn the trust of your readers. Scott Gray once said to me "The big blogs get big for only one reason... content". True words. Good, original content will bring traffic no matter how long it takes. That quality gets associated with the blogger. Quality content usually links to quality content, linked content gets indexed by search engines... You get the point?

Many South Africans are already using the blogging platform to build up their corporate profiles - in search of jobs or clients. And it seems to be working.

To be continued...



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