Over on my book blog, I had a go recently at defining some characteristics of 'blog culture'. One of those characteristics was the emphasis on the authenticity of the voice you speak with when you're blogging. So, even if you're talking nonsense, you're being yourself, you're not putting on any airs, and there's no ventriloquist with his hand up your back, telling you what to say. (I touched on the same point in a different way, writing about Yahoo, a few months ago.)
But for some professions, that prospect of authenticity is tempting cloak in which to drape some good old promotional messages. I've been reading Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution, and I came across this passage in a chapter on blog marketing by Andrew Corcoran and others:
Blog marketing puts credibility back into the marketing mix: In an era where people are increasingly sceptical of traditional interruptive advertising, dismissing overt commercial messages as propAdganda [sic] and corporate spin-wash, blogs represent a refreshing and credible source of information. Readers are more likely to believe information in an opinion-leading third-party blog than in an ad, whilst the informal style of avoiding sales-speak and overt promotion in business blogs enhances the credibility of the medium.Continue reading "Does blog marketing undermine the credibility it depends on?"
If anyone reading this has experience of running two blogs that overlap in their coverage, I'd be interested in your advice on the following issue.
Much of what I write on this blog is a by-product of my work and the wider interests that surround it. At the moment my work is almost exclusively on my book, and I've created a dedicated blog for that. (I'm also trying to be focused, and to avoid spending too much time on by-products!)
Should I duplicate new articles by posting them both here and on the book blog? I did that once, but it's not ideal. Comments posted on one version are not shown on the other. I could 'close' comments for one of the versions and direct readers to the other version to make comments — but I wonder if you might find that over-complex and irritating? Let me know if you have views, or advice, one way or the other.
In the meantime, in the last fortnight I've added to my Net, Blogs and Rock'n'Roll blog an interview about discovering classical music via a dedicated broadband TV channel and an assessment of MusicStrands' new tool for recommending music tracks and artists based on film titles. If you normally read this blog with an RSS newsreader, I recommend also subscribing to the RSS feed for the book blog.
Last year I posted teasers here about articles I had published on Word of Mouth Marketing and Playlisting and on Remix Culture (the articles were featured in Five Eight and The Spectator respectively).
Their value as 'exclusives' has expired, so I've published the full version of the Word of Mouth piece on my Net, Blogs and Rock'n'Roll blog, and the Remix piece is available as a 64 KB PDF file for download.
I start off questioning the value of blogging an event that you know in advance will be blogged to death from every side. Does it really help anyone to have multiple perspectives on one thing, when the inevitable inconsistencies between them may be confusing? And if there are six accounts already, what added value is there in a seventh?
And then the penny drops, and I realise how to answer my question: I'm not doing this just for your benefit, dear reader, I'm doing it for mine. It's a means of consolidating my reflections. I leave them on my doorstep, and if you pass by and find them interesting, so much the better. But I'm under no obligation. Did you think I was aiming to be 'customer-centred'? Pay me some money, become a customer, and I might be. Until then, if there's no value in this for you, well, you can have a refund. For blogs to have an authentic voice, people have to speak first as citizens, not try and fit what they say into customer/supplier roles.
All of which is a lengthy preamble to a few comments I wasn't expecting to make on yesterday's blog.ac.uk conference.Continue reading "Blogging, learning, and going off at tangents"