Lewis, thanks for bringing up the subject of blogs. Most of the discussion here has focused on forum communities, but blogs can be the core of a community, too.
I think if you are going to launch a blog, you'll need a hook to bring readers back. Either you should have a theme that interests people, or if you are going to cover a variety of topics you should bring your own unique "take" and personality to your commentary.
I do think the interest in "personal" blogs will wane - I don't find reading about the blogger's cat or what he had for lunch particularly compelling stuff.
|how many of you here own a Blog |
Can I just add to that question - how many of you have monetised your blog, directly or indirectly.
As for "monetising" blogs, we run a small blog site with information about the company. It helps keep our clients up to date on the things we do, and also is a good resource to send off to new prospects - seems to be wonderful for a trust builder!
Do you SEO the blogs and use them as a traffic driver also?
|Can I just add to that question - how many of you have monetised your blog, directly or indirectly. |
When you say 'monetised' - do you mean used a Blog as a tool for business (keeping customers up to date with your latest developments for example) or do you mean generating Revenue from your blog? Maybe you mean something totally different, please explain.
Infact, talking of profiting from Blogs, I read this somewhere:
|Nick Denton is another blogger that is building an online media empire. His blog at Gizmodo.com is a technology lovers wet dream. Every day visitors are offered the opportunity to buy electronic gadgets that put large sums of affiliate income into Denton's pockets. |
Denton recently expanded his empire branched out and added a blog called Gawker.com that is a cross between Variety magazine and The National Enquirer.
Gawker covers Manhattan and the self-important wannabes that walk its streets. Using sarcasm and witty commentary the genius editor keeps visitors flocking back for return visits. And that is what high-paying advertisers that grace the pages of Gawker want for their money. They want eyeballs.
How much moolah to you think Denton is clearing when he has only one employee to pay each week -- and a s*** load of high-paying advertisers?
This got me to thinking - will Blogs become a mainstream form of Profit, will they become comercialised by companies paying bloggers to talk about their products and similar methods? I sure hope not - call me paranoid but look what happened with email and SPAM - could the same thing happen to the Blog community?
I was thinking of more direct monetisation (such a word?!) than use as a general "keep you customers informed" type thing. Although the benefits of that, ultimately, are financial of course.
I was thinking more about use of a blog to direct traffic to an online store, or some form of product/service, even affiliate marketing/AdSense etc.
So I have a blog about widgets, it does well in the search engines, and I direct that traffic to buywidgetsonline.com as an affiliate for example.
Blogs may be harder to define these days. While the name conveys the image of a single author either sharing expert viewpoints or perhaps just spouting stream-of-consciousness drivel, blog software can be pressed into service to publish a variety of content. Press releases, new product arrivals, FAQs, etc. all fit this model quite well. That's one major direction, IMO - fewer cat stories, and more blogs that are less about a personal viewpoint and more about announcements or other content.
|I do think the interest in "personal" blogs will wane |
Not until the interest in "tell-all" memoirs, tabloid gossip papers, and "true story" movie-of-the-week type fare does... People always have been and always will be interested in other people's personal lives.
Whether or not a given individual's personal blog is interesting is one thing, but on a whole I think those who do have interesting lives and those who have the talent to make their writing interesting in general will continue to get traffic.
|I do think the interest in "personal" blogs will wane |
I'm with mivox on this one.
Personal blogs tend to feed one of two needs in us - tittilation or validation.
There are those of the wonderful expressive writers or flashy or risque lifestyles who satisfy the tittilation aspect - giving us a look at a live we'd like to have.
Then there are those 'my cat threw up again this morning and I missed the bus for work' blah lives that make us feel better about ourselves... give us validation... because, hey, at least I'm more together than THAT bozo.
Well, at least Gates likes blogs!
>I believe that Blogs are a type of community
There is the blog community of bloggers, but how is a blog in-and-of-itself a community?
There are group blogs and/or groups of regulars readers that maintain a dialog by comments and trackbacks. Many blogs serve much the same function as a forum would.
I suppose there are bloggers that also maintain a sort of "community" by regularly discussing each others posts on their own blogs - sort of responding to each other. You see this with a lot of Class A bloggers like Doc Searls.
However, not all blogs are communities.
Vlogs are already catching on.. (video logs) ..
I read an excellent description of where vlogs willlead us..tens of thosands of "commentators" ..
Think of all the other M Drudges and wannnabe commentators in the world..Vlogs are a terrific platform to attract an audience at little expense .. if thats your thing of course
Yeah, if you are ever bored you should check out SnowCrash. He talks a lot about people becoming recording machines plugged into the 'net.
|I do think the interest in "personal" blogs will wane - I don't find reading about the blogger's cat or what he had for lunch particularly compelling stuff. |
I had hoped that the interest in "reality television" would wane but it appears as though people still care deeply about watching other people's so-called real life experiences. If reality television is so popular, then the completely unfiltered, commercial free blog should maintain popularity even longer.
As the digital lifestyle continues and high-speed internet expands, expect to see more home videos and comprehensive photo albums mixed in with blogs.