Friday, October 16

Spotting Trends: Seven Myths About Blogging


Today at BlogWorld New Media Expo 2009 in Las Vegas, BlogCatalog will release excerpts from a research study “An Analysis of the Blogosphere: Its Present & Future Impact,” which was conducted by SPECTRUM Brand Strategy Group, LLC (SBSG). The finding are based on a compilation of interviews with influential bloggers; a quantitative survey of BlogCatalog members; and a qualitative discussion moderated by the SBSG research team.

“What we have found is that many of the standing theories embraced by social media experts are not necessarily based on the experience represented by the majority of independent bloggers,” said Tony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog. “In some cases, the SBSG study seems to suggest that many social media experts are isolating themselves from the greater population of the blogosphere.”

Seven Trends In Social Media Related To Blogging

1. Who are bloggers? While many people speculate younger audiences dominate blog authorship, the reality is that they are dominated by “digital immigrants” (Generation X and Baby Boomers). “Digital natives” (Generation Y and younger) are still exploring how they might best use blogs.

2. Will Generation Y follow these leaders? While there is an educator/student relationship, there is also an increasing divide between A-list “digital immigrants” and the greater population of the bloggers, especially younger content creators. As A-list bloggers have become less accessible, the majority of newer bloggers are looking for better solutions and different connections.

3. Do A-list bloggers have better insights? There is no correlation between A-list bloggers providing better insights
than novice or undiscovered bloggers. In fact, as A-list bloggers become more comfortable and complacent with some tactics, the study suggests new, novice, and undiscovered bloggers tend to take more risks that lead to innovation.

4. Is new media replacing traditional media? The vast majority of bloggers have no intention of becoming citizen journalists. It is more likely that content creators, citizen journalists, and journalists will become increasingly interdependent and not competitive with each other.

5. Can people trust blogs? Among bloggers, trusting other bloggers is not an issue. As readers, bloggers are
generally more suspicious of corporate blogs and traditional media than of other bloggers, even those who remain anonymous. There is also an increasing need for more human oversight over algorithms in discovering quality content.

6. How do bloggers measure success? Bloggers clearly and consistently identify their content as opinion communication and the authors aim to receive recognition and readerships. While corporations are interested in measuring a return on investment, most bloggers are more concerned about affirmation and engagement.

7. Will micro-blogging and social networks replace blogs? Most bloggers see micro-blogging and blogging as an interdependent activity, with micro-blogging, especially Twitter, being used to market blog content. They change where the discussion takes place, but thought leadership occurs on blogs.

There are more conversation topics to be found in excerpts being released today. There are additional points to be found in the full study, which is still being compiled.

Additional Points of Interest At BlogWorld

BlogCatalog is also handing out information on two upcoming Bloggers Unite events in November — Veterans Day: Who Will Stand on Nov. 11 and Bloggers Unite: Fight for Preemies on Nov. 17. Please save the dates and dedicate a blog post for both important causes.

If you are attending BlogWorld and have questions about either event, look for me Friday morning or Saturday afternoon, after I finish my class at UNLV. Or, look for our communication manager Hadley Thom, who will also be frequenting the BlogCatalog booth between sessions.

Who wouldn't be with Clive Berkman passing out special treats for attendees. He cooked the chocolate at my home last night; I highly recommend it.

4 comments:

Primary Work at Home on 10/18/09, 2:26 AM said...

I also enjoy micro-blogging. It helps me promote my business fast.

Rich on 10/18/09, 11:05 AM said...

David,

Makes me wonder how so? :)

I enjoy it too. It's simply a great way to keep connections open with colleagues and others.

Might seem simple, but sometimes simple is good.

Best,
Rich

Jay Ehret on 10/19/09, 5:24 AM said...

Interesting insights, Rich, especially #7. Bloggers view microblogging and social networks as tools to promote their blog content. Bloggers crave credibility and authority. While social networks can be gamed to make it appear as if you have authority (artificial follower numbers), it's nearly impossible to pretend to have good blog content. Steering people back to your blog is proof you know what you're talking about.

Rich on 10/21/09, 2:08 PM said...

Hey Jay,

I agree with you that it is impossible to claim you have good blog content. And I can easily agree that most bloggers are looking for attention and affirmation (I'm one of the few who do not).

As for gaming, it only seems to work for those with less palatable content because the reciprocal arrangement doesn't require reading. However, a good percentage of high profile bloggers benefit from the promotion of unread posts too.

The content is necessarily bad, but can lead other communicators in the wrong direction.

All my best,
Rich

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