Wednesday, December 07, 2005

 

Why we blog

There are a handful of blogs out there that are very, very well done. Church of the Customer, Micro-Persuasion and Boing Boing, for example, have thousands of subscribers for a reason.

But for every John Battelle, there are about a thousand Joe Six-Packs also blogging out there.

The quickest way to get a truly random sampling of what else is out there is to use blogger.com's "next blog" feature, in the upper right-hand corner of most blogger.com-hosted blogs.

It's no surprise that most blogs in the blogosphere are fairly mundane, and probably don't have much readership. So why do these folks blog? Why do they bother?

I believe it boils down to three things:

1) It's an opportunity to be part of something big. Blogging means that you're a bonafide publisher, on the World Wide Web no less. That's quite meaningful to most folks, and just feeling associated and a part of something bigger than themselves has significant pull.

2) It's an outlet. It's an online diary for some people, purely a place to vent, pontificate, wonder and muse. Readership, circulation, subscribers - it's largely irrelevant. The fact that they've been able to put their thoughts into words, and do it somewhere convenient that has some permanence, is sufficient.

3) Somebody might be listening. And don't we all just want someone to hear us once in awhile? The mere idea that others may be able to find and read one's work is enough for many amateur and occasional bloggers. It's at the core of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends & Influence People" - people want others to focus on them.

As marketers, we have a responsibility to tap into these common consumer needs. How are you enabling your customers, and your prospects, toexpress themselves? How are you allowing them to join something exciting, and bigger than themselves?

Perhaps most importantly, how are you letting them be heard, and then letting them know that they've been heard?

Whether it's via blogs, branded social networking strategies, or just your everyday business practices, these are powerful forces at work, forces that can be put to work for your business and brand as well.

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