Do blogs actually work?

Many of you who read this blog a couple of times a year will know that I prefer to take a pragmatic approach to “new” media.

I still haven’t upgraded for a second life, I love the press release (well maybe love is too strong a word) and I love the feeling of newsprint. Of course I see the potential of blogs, podcasts, RSS etc., but I don’t subscribe to those who do the cyber equivalent of wearing a sandwich board with “The End of the World (or traditional media) is Nigh”.

At any “New” PR conference I attend, you invariably get asked the question “it’s all very interesting but when will it go mainstream”.  And of course the answer is different for every country and market segment. Although there’s no question that the two biggest early adoptor “segments” are technology and politics.

Interestingly, a former colleague, who works at a reasonably sized tech firm told me yesterday that they did detailed analysis on product downloads over the past six months – we’re talking relatively large volumes – and they were staggered with the findings.

Over 40% of their product downloads came directly from a blog link.

Now that’s impressive – and not a sandiwch board in sight….

 

Postscript:

Jennifer McClure has a good piece in the Bulldog Reporter offering some tips for PR people who have to deal with (ahem) Web 2.0.  I’d love to know what people think of Katie Payne’s comment at the end of the piece.  Opportunistic or self serving advertising? You decide….

10 thoughts on “Do blogs actually work?

  1. I’m not sure I would equate FedEx’s stock price dropping with the box guy. That sounds like a real stretch, but the rest of the piece is spot on.

    I’m not surprised at the download findings, but I don’t think blogs outside of the tech arena would have that same level of success. What do you think??

  2. I recently just mentioned in passing on my site that we’d be selling our apartment. I’ve already had two enquiries about it. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could eschew the real estate agent and sell a six-figure item off my blog?

  3. John: I agree, blogs – as blogs – are a very powerful tool among the Web 2.0 crowd and for the technical market. Outside those two groupings the impact is less direct, and that’s (in my opinion) where the big unknown is. How will blogs play a role with wider consumers, it may not be as blogs, it may rather be as pure web content.

    Darren: Now that’s a real ROI story :-)

    TM

  4. A far cry from Web 2.0 and tech crowds but lawyer blogs are working extremely well as marketing tools. Lawyers are hired by word of mouth and based on their expertise. Makes for a nice fit for blogs.

  5. Pingback: Open The Dialogue
  6. Tom, that’s definitely not blogger relations or public relations but a straightforward sales pitch. I’d probably ask Katie to rewrite the piece if she did that on my blog, or we could run with what she has written but be forewarned I will probably critique the comment in my next blog post.

  7. Kevin: That’s a great point. Business where the personality is important – as is the advice, are tailor made for promotion by blogs. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    John: I agree, it stuck in my throat a little. There’s not any even add-value. If she added something to the debate that would be OK….

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