14 Dec Who Gives a Blog?
On the surface, it looks like people are saying nothing in record numbers.
In 2003, an estimated 5 million people published blogs on the Internet using online services such as LiveJournal, Movable Type, and Weblogger.
Most blogs last as long as a New Year’s resolution.
A November study of eight leading blog services by Perseus Development Corporation suggests that 20 percent of all blogs (short for “Web logs”) are abandoned after their first posting and that two-thirds of all blogs are abandoned within two months.
Wisconsin seems to fare better than average. Browsing more than 100 Wisconsin-based blogs, I found only half to be abandoned. Those that weren’t provided a few hours of mild-mannered entertainment. People talk about the weather, their daily routines, their pets, and about writing in their blogs. A plethora of one-sided small talk.
With more than one million active blogs to choose from there’s a lot of useful information to be found. Blogs can be a source of insight for marketers. Special topic blogs exist for almost any topic. Mining blogs can result in valuable insights about your target market, your products, and your competitors.
As marketers, finding meaningful information about the interests and habits and young consumers can be a challenge. However, young adults are active bloggers. According to the Perseus study, more than 90 percent of bloggers are under the age of 30. More than 50% are under the age of 20.
Browsing December 2003 blogs for Christmas gift ideas for teens netted more than 580,000 results.
While blogs had primarily been an individual activity and a non-commercial endeavor, we are now seeing companies begin to catch on to the value of blogging. Blogs make it very easy to update website content on a daily (or even hourly) basis. As a result, blogs can provide a great engine for News and press release areas of a company web site.
Blogs can also provide customers with a personal glimpse of your company. Media and news companies are beginning to allow their news reporters to keep their own daily blogs, and some other types of companies are experimenting with having salespeople write blogs about the company’s product or service.
The use of blogs for marketing applications is only going to increase: by the end of 2004, the number of blogs is expected to double.
Troy Janisch is president and founder of the Icon Interactive Group (www.iconinteractive.com), an industry leader helping companies integrate Internet and other Interactive media into sales channels, marketing strategies, and overall branding. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, & do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.