Not More on Blogs!

If you want a primer on blogging, with a guide to the top online commentators, download a free copy of the Trust “MEdia” white paper published by Edelman, a global public relations firm and Intelliseek, a market research firm with a specialty in blog analysis. In truth, the report is not entirely free. A brief email registration process is required, offering by example a clue as to why it has become common to give away content — and that is to gain attention, either to sell advertising or to recruit potential clients for a service. I just downloaded the white paper myself and am not prepared to summarize it other than to say that it is aimed at decision-makers who know that blogs are a big deal, but aren’t sure whether to regard them as a threat or an opportunity. The press release accompanying the report carries an endorsement from David Weinberger (his bio is a hoot), a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. (The manifesto boils down to this: two-way communication via the Internet is creating real give-and-take “conversations” that are replacing the old-world model of broadcasting messages from a single point.)
Anyhow, Weinberger, speaking in perfect press release-ese says: “The Edelman/Intelliseek white paper does an especially good job explaining blogging as not just another opportunity to spout one’s ‘message’ but as a way of entering into genuine conversation with and among one’s customers.” (Does that sounds a little clue-less, or is it just my ear?)

Meanwhile, The Pew Internet Project released a report in early May that further emphasized how blogs have the potential to influence public opinion. After conducting two surveys of Internet users (emphasis added), Pew found that “9% of internet users now say they have created blogs and 25% of internet users say they read blogs. Another way to render these numbers is to note that 6% of the entire U.S. adult population (internet users and non-users alike) have created blogs. That’s one out of every 20 people. And 16% of all U.S. adults (or one in six people) are blog readers … The number of adult readers of blogs is about 40% of the size of the talk radio audience.”

Tom Abate
Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media