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All hail the blog! …unless you’re Samuel L. Jackson

After the completion of Scoble and Israel’s first four chapters of their book “Naked Conversations”, I think one thing is certain: blogging wins. The writing and tone of the book was straight on. Allowing the storytellers to do much of the storytelling helped me to easily understand their experiences and motives when it came to starting blogs for their companies.  In most cases, blogging was shown to have a positive effect on consumer attitudes, regardless of whether the blogs were initially deemed wanted or unwanted by their employers.

Think of it. As consumers, don’t we love feeling like we “know” the people behind a company, including the executives and other high-end positions?  It’s great to “know” who the masterminds are that are responsible for the marketing that is shoved in our faces daily via our TVs, computer screens, radios and any/all other electronic media. Scoble and Israel discuss how most consumers have grown distrustful of companies, avoid their marketing tactics however possible. Sounds about right. The response to these consumer feelings? Blogs.

It sounds implausible at first, but Scoble and Israel provide a multitude of examples to explain the benefits and qualities inherent in blogs that companies can utilize to bring consumers back into their realm of marketing; the Microsoft example, being one. Joshua Allen’s statement “I wanted to say that I am a Microsoft person and you can talk with me,” says it all. Blogs are available for users to read 24/7, contain easy contact information for the writer, and can answer many company-related questions for “those in doubt”. Allen and most of the other bloggers mentioned in these chapters personally respond to comments and remarks in an open discussion. A comforting, friendly, alluring open discussion. Needless to say blogs are like “word of mouth on steroids” as the authors describe.

Personally, I’m totally on-board of the blogging bandwagon. This piece simply strengthened my initial feelings regarding the power of blogging and viral media. However, blogging buzz can sometimes translate into over-hyping a product. Case in point: Snakes on a Plane.

Understandably, movie marketing is different from how a technology company such as Google or Microsoft would market themselves, but I couldn’t help but think of my favorite little cult movie of recent and how hype (read: blogging) helped the movie be an utter box office failure. Due to heightened buzz surrounding the film, SnakesonaBlog was created to promote the movie, entice fan interaction, and even served as a portal for producers to ask fans questions regarding the script, tone, and plot elements of the movie as it was being made! That is what the Internet is all about! United interactivity between producer and consumer! Prod-users! Power of the masses! What should’ve banked a ton of box office cash, actually only grossed approximately $34 million domestically, just barely creeping over its budget. Entertainment Weekly and many other esteemed Pop Culture press tried to figure out what went wrong, and all came up with nothing. The hype apparently muddled the heads of the intended audience. The blog ultimately failed to spread the word outside of the movie’s small “in-production” niche and didn’t create enough synergy to put enough people in theater seats.

Again, this is only 1 example of blog under-performance and it is a movie, which is a totally different ballgame. However, I couldn’t help but keep Snakes on a Plane in the back of my mind throughout my readings. As Matheson had applied blogs to the journalistic world, maybe he did have a point: blogs are a tricky type of media that we may not know everything about yet and that may end up being quite unpredictable in terms of marketing, usefulness, and general usability.

Needless to say, despite the bit of rain I showered on the blog-parade, there is definitely much worth (and money, too, as seen in Thompson’s “Blogs to Riches” article!) held in the blogosphere for major companies and individuals who simply have an opinion to share. Though blogging couldn’t save a cult-y little movie with a killer one-liner (the setup is there, but I’ll resist), blogging is and will continue to change our interactive world as we know it.


One Response to “All hail the blog! …unless you’re Samuel L. Jackson”

  1. Where do you think blogging is headed in the future? Why do you think it has become so popular? For what reason has it become this way?

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