Blogger types and what this means for B2B Media July 11, 2007Posted by Bernard Lunn in B2B Media, Blogging, social networks, start-ups.
Traditional media is still figuring out how to work with Bloggers. Some in the Web 2.0 world are claiming Blogging is old and tired and declaring that Social Networks and Twitter will replace Blogging (by the time a new technology gets used by the masses i.e. crosses the chasm i.e. becomes economically interesting, the ‘”new, new thing crowd” has moved on).
So I thought it might be useful to think about a taxonomy of Bloggers and which ones are core Bloggers, which will move into a re-vamped media role and which will move more into Twittering and hooking-up.
- Unchained Journalists. I first started reading Blogs from Journalists that I had originally enjoyed in print. They became unchained by choice or were pushed into it when their magazine folded. Byte Magazine’s demise liberated a lot of great journalists as they came from (IMHO) the best technology magazine ever. This trend is likely to continue as more print magazines close down when most of their audience has migrated online.
- New Media Magnate. TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb come to mind. Given low barriers to entry there is very little to stop an Unchained Journalist from becoming a New Media Magnate. While VC will look sceptically because “Content Businesses Don’t Scale Anymore” there is a good “lifestyle business” in many niches.
- Corporate Blogger. This is now so common in the technology and new media worlds that it is just another part of About Us. It serves a useful purpose that falls between the cracks of Press Releases and White Papers (i.e. we have something interesting to a small part of our market (sorry, lets be Web 2.0 correct and call it “community” rather than market) but not important enough to get picked up by traditional media.
- Hello World Look at Me. This is what will move to Social Networks and Twitter. If you are a very good friend I maybe interested in your latest thoughts about your cat, but….
- Niche Passion. These are the people who really don’t care if anybody reads their Blog, they are just writing about what they love. If you love the same thing, this is the best thing since sliced bread. This is classic long tail blogging.
- Already a Famous Hub. This is a way for highly connected and influential people – the people that everybody else wants to talk to – to get their thoughts out there. VCs and Angels in the technology world are the most common examples and Fred Wilson and Marc Andreessen are the two masters of the art. This serves two purposes. First it helps filter the people who come to them because they know what will interest them. Second it makes them look like reasonable human beings.
- Consultant/Service Provider Attention-Seekers. This is where Blogging and White Papers intersect. It is a form of open source. Create some useful analysis/insight so that your market sees that you could be useful and make contact.
- Journalist Manque. Journalism, of the Woodwood/Bernstein type, has some glamor and many people have harbored ambition along those lines and now they have a chance…
- Attention Seeker for a cause. Can be a marvelous way to rally people to a good cause or a horrible way to rant your prejuduce and both will continue to thrive.
- Attention Seeker for a company. PR Hack in another guise unless done very well. Blogging does rather dis-intermediate the PR role.
That is where we are today. Peering into that murky crystal ball (will somebody please wipe that muck off the glass):
- The biggest number of Blogs (all those statistics about x gazillion blogs created in the last 15 minutes) will be Hello World Look at Me and that is the domain of “few to few” media like Social Networks, Twitter. This will take some of the hype out of Blogging as a mass medium. This is co-existence and complementary. Some social networking twitterers may move back into Blogging to meet some other need and Bloggers will also Twitter about their cat.
- Niche Passion and Attention Seekers (for cause or commercial) will be the core Blogging long tail world.
- Media firms (new and old will merge) and Corporates seeking attention will merge Blogging, Social Networking and other content forms as dictated by their market.