May 22, 2002

A Brief History on Blogs
Rebecca Blood blogs a history of blogs .... pretty interesting (via msnbc, which by the way, is a terrific mainstream article on blogs -- see what'd I say about equalibrium, it's already kickin' in ;-)).

May 21, 2002

A Fine Farewell
Rick Bruner blogs a fine farewell to Andy Bourland in Executive Summary. Andy has decided to move out of the interactive field. Why, I'm not sure. He still has a great mind for it, no matter what he says. Nonetheless, I remember first subscribing to ClickZ, which Andy co-ounded, ran and operated. It was the best commentary on internet advertising, marketing and media. A lot of those old articles would probably still inject wisdom into this infant industry. I still find ClickZ one of the best sources of commentary. In a way, ClickZ has always been a collection of blogs by industry professionals -- even though they were never referred to as such. Best of luck to Andy.
Attack of the Blogs
There's been a lot of mainstream press lately on blogging (Corante has got a complete list) ... and I don't think the press has it entirely right. Newsweek ran a story, "Will Blogs Kill Old Media?" -- San Antonio Express: "Are Media Being Blog-rolled?" The list goes on.

The real story isn't Bloggers vs Mass Media. It's really about bloggers and mass media, and how they will co-exist. The Newsweek article quotes Dave Winer as saying, "By 2007, more readers will get news from blogs than from The New York Times." I say without the New York Times blogs won't exist, and without recognizing blogs, the New York Times won't exist.

News media slowly allowed corporate powers to control their stories. Advertising, ratings, political correctness, cross promotion and corporate bias crept into the newsroom unchecked. Because there was no counter balance, it grew out of control. Blogging creates an equilibrium. The " unbespoken outsiders—impassioned lefties and righties, fine-print-reading wonks, indignant cranks and salt-’o-the-earth eyewitnesses to the 'real' life[er's]" will keep those giant media companies in check. Now maybe we can start trusting the news again, wherever it may come from.

Scott Rosenburg is thinking along the same lines in Salon:

Typically, the debate about blogs today is framed as a duel to the death between old and new journalism....

The rise of blogs does not equal the death of professional journalism. The media world is not a zero-sum game. Increasingly, in fact, the Internet is turning it into a symbiotic ecosystem -- in which the different parts feed off one another and the whole thing grows.

Weblogs -- which often consist of annotated links to media Web sites as well as to other blogs -- would barely be able to get by without the informational fodder provided by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, time-strapped reporters and editors in downsized, resource-hungry newsrooms are increasingly turning to blogs for story tips and pointers. No one has enough time to read everything on the Web; blogs offer a smart reader the chance to piggyback on someone else's reading time. Good journalists would be fools not to feed off blogs.

Weblogs expand the media universe. They are a media life-form that is native to the Web, and they add something new to our mix, something valuable, something that couldn't have existed before the Web....

It should be obvious that weblogs aren't competing with the work of the professional journalism establishment, but rather complementing it.

So what's mass media to do? I say, embrace blogging. Make it part of your entity. Or watch your entity disappear.

Or just listen what rageboy has to say (how does he do it? Speak with such honesty?) Great to see him back, btw. He's really been writing up a storm (here too).

May 13, 2002

Marketing Blogs Unite!
Been very, very busy lately and not much time for blogging as I would like. So much to blog, so little time.

But I wanted to give a big thanks to recent mentions from other "marketing bloggers." My traffic has really been heading up. Thanks to Deborah Branscum for the link, Oliver Travers for his mention on Web Voice, Rick Bruner for the perma link under his Blog Marketing links and Rob Poel who I think was my first visitor, ever. Oh yeah, how could I forget, and Steve MacLaughin for his thoughts on my Jack Feuer blog.

May 07, 2002

ClickZ: Seana Mulcahy on Advertising and Blogs

Could this be the future of blogging?

Blogging isn't widely used, accepted, or provided by companies to employees. The technology would be an excellent forum for workplace communication. Quite often, my clients are trying to target the at-work audience. This would be a perfect fit. Not only would it be a great way to brand or promote products and services online, it would also allow advertisers to gain planning insight. Have you ever watched postings on an online bulletin board or lurked in a chat room? It's amazing what you can find out about people's interests, needs, problems, and attitudes toward a brand.

Many pundits strongly disagree. They believe blogging is built on trust. I agree. They think promoting a mobile phone or airline tickets or soft drinks on a blog would be horribly wrong. That's where I say, "Give me a break."

Open a newspaper, use the remote control on a TV, flip through a magazine, listen to the radio. What are you surrounded with? Advertising, of course. Perhaps these cynics want to protect and preserve the untouched atmosphere. I respect their opinion.

But I still say, "Why not slap an ad on it?"

There are many things that just don't jive here and is typical of what is so prevalent in advertising today. If it moves, "slap an ad on it."

First, I don't think advertising and blogs mix. I said it below, and I'll say it again. Seana treats blogging as an unusually effective outlet for advertisers. I don't get this. Why is a blog a better place to slap an ad? To me, its just another place -- if not, a worse place. When a real voice is juxtaposed against advertising, the real voice wins and the advertising loses.

I don't really consider myself a pundit. I'm in advertising just like Seana. But I don't think "promoting a mobile phone or airline tickets or soft drinks on a blog would be horribly wrong," I think it would be horribly ineffective. Why would it work? I can appreciate the use of blogging for planners -- to gain insight into customers -- But that's different than slapping an ad on it.

That's not how you use the web in business. You talk with. Not talk at.

May 03, 2002

Rick Bruner, who originally blogged about Nick Denton's new venture (see last entry), writes about some of the possibilities of blogging, marketing and, now, PR (and the unfortunate coinage of "adverblogging").

Rick blogs about how Macromedia is backing the launch of their new MX platform by creating a blog maintained by 5 staff developers. The internet tears down the boarders between customer and company where marketing-speak dies and real voices thrive (rhyme not intended). Rick claims adverblogging is inevitable. While I'm not sure about "adverblogging," the term, I know Rick is right.

P.S. Rick has a really cool section of his site slapping fun at all the un-creative logos with swooshes and orbits.

May 01, 2002

Nick Denton, founder of, is starting a new venture revolving around the idea of making it easier to search for blogs (good idea). The plan would be ad-supported (bad idea).

Denton plans on mixing blogs and advertising. Advertising and blogs don't mix. Unless if you're "advertising" someone elses blog (Pyrads, Blogsnob, for example).

The way I bet it roles out, advertising gets distributed on this blog network, the network gets paid for advertising, maybe bloggers get a portion of the pay (in which case, this might work). Now, Denton's plan is vague, so I may be totally off the mark. But the fact that it sounds like a purely adsupported revenue model instantly raises my skeptisim.

Bottom line: Why would advertising a company's product or service resonate on anyone's blog? When a real voice is juxtaposed against advertising, the real voice wins and the advertising loses.

For info go here, here, here, here, here and here.