I love this job right now. I get into the office, and on a cold, wet, snowy icy day like today, it is absurdly quiet here as it seems half our office has not trekked in. I sit in my quiet corner and think about where in the World Wide Web I choose to go to today.  That opens up a huge quotient of possibilities even if I keep within my work parameter, which I do.  So I think of some key words that might bring me to a new area that I should be involved in and away I go with just a few key strokes of my handy Google box. It’s better than a magic carpet since I am afraid of heights and I get to stay in my chair with my coffee.

Yesterday I hit up “monetize blogs”, today I went for “blogs press releases” which brought me back in time to June 2005. It’s actually funny to read what some people were saying or predicting what would be happening now.  According to the number of comments and track backs, I guess back in 2005, predicting that “Blogs are the New Press Release” made people all but freak out.

Steve made some interesting predictions and I wonder if he does have dibs on a real crystal ball because he was dead on about RSS being everywhere by 2007. There were defiantly doubts, I guess, back then, about RSS. I have to admit that if I even knew what an RSS feed was back in 2005 (and I did not) I would also have doubted it’s power but now, reading this, “I’m also not sure whether companies would be willing to trust – hope – that journalists will be sure to hook up their RSS feed, that they will check their RSS reader regularly” is almost hysterical.  Ah, hind sight, I had to control myself not to laugh out loud when one commenter proclaimed, “And in Australia I know of one (count one) major league journalist who uses an RSS aggregator.”  I bet you that number sure has changed. Now it should probably read, “And in Australia I don’t know of one (count one) major league journalist who does not use an RSS aggregator.”

Back in my real chair, in real 2008, I ponder the thoughts of 2005.  No, the press release is not yet dead, but you got to adore some of the mindsets:

  • The only problem that I personally see with that there is still a certain level of uncrediblity with the blog
  • In that sense, blogs and RSS are no different than advertising; companies can use these means to bypass the journalist’s filter and go straight to their ultimate target audience, but that audience knows it’s only getting part of the story.
  • I just think that bloggers are just amateurs, they do their thing with whatever devices are available at the time when the news is happening, it is a 21 century phenomenon, and will never replace real historic journalism.

Now, with all due respect to the posters above, I do believe that the overall thought was that these “amateur, non journalistic blogs” were ones put out BY the corporations.  As if instead of a traditional press release being given out to the news wires, a corporate head would have their own blog and out the information out there. This is supported by quotes like these:

  • If you are keeping just a blog and updating it quite frequently, you will be losing the important blog posts (which are sort of press releases) in the posts clutter. You would have to highlight these important posts separately.
  • From the readers’ point of view, imagine the result of going through hundreds of blogs posts and trying to reach particular important information.

There were also questions referring to the corporate suit not having the time or dedication to updating a blog regularly, more doubts about the quality of writing and the bias of that information.  I guess the real independent, true journalism type blog was still off the radar? Obviously, the importance of blogging was underestimated just as the professionalism that is shown by bloggers was also underestimated.  I can see how the idea of a company generated blog being the only source for a news release would not fly, but that is not at all what the blog has turned out to be.

Now, with the blog fully embraced by the world even the most trusted hallmarks of professional journalism have gotten involved. The New York Times has regular and guest bloggers blogging about a wide variety of subjects. I have seen well known bloggers as guests on CNN and other news channels where their opinions and expertise are considered invaluable.  What was not seen in 2005 is the importance and trust that America has put into the unbiased, free voice of the average citizen on the other side of a computer monitor nor the power that that voice can wield when influencing popular opinion.  No Blogs have not replaced real historic journalism, but rather have become part and parcel of real historic journalism.

Now we have the desire, rather the real need, of the traditional press release to be released to the blogging community with the hope that it will be picked up and written about. When companies such as Nikon come up with “Blogger Outreach Programs” then it’s pretty obvious that corporate America has figured out that Blogs need to somehow be harnessed and that their placement in the SEO market is greatly assisted by the participation of blogs. And that, of course, brings me back to why Blogg.io is a good idea whose time has come.

I wonder if Steve saw that in his crystal ball.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 and is filed under Integrated Marketing.

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