There is a great article by Hugh Hewitt on the Weekly Standard detailing the trials and tribulations of old media. I especially like Hugh's request that main stream journalists tell us where they sit before they tell us where they stand. I have no problem with looking at issues from different perspectives- I just want to know what filters are being applied to the story. It is clear that many consumers feel the same way by the rise in citizen media- where bias is clearly and proudly acknowledged.
In the course of conversations, and sales pitches, with many business leaders, I regularly hear the concern about the potential of negative comments being made on blogs by unhappy customers or competitors. My first response comes from the mouth and keyboard of Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine fame who suggests that anybody that does not believe that the internet is not full of negative comments about your brand should just Google "your company name here" sucks and see how many listings there are. By the way Jeff should be proud, Buzz Machine has clearly made it big time- tonight there were 62,100 responses on Google to "Buzz Machine sucks"
Adrants has dubbed these crusaders determined detractors. I had never visited the I Hate Starbucks website but was amazed that it rates a 5 out of 10 Google importance ranking- I can only dream of such success-
The new frontier in corporate communications is the blogosphere and smart businesses will realize that the determined detractors, like Hugh Hewitt's campaign against Target for booting the Salvation Army from their front doors, have a major effect on brand and business.
Smart marketers will get on the blog bandwagon and build their brands with their customers before their detractors tear it down for not listening
Doing a little bit of homework in preparation of hiring an employee or two for Revolution Communications and came across an article in December's Fast Company.
"Almost everybody who gets into this field at some point had some higher artistic or altruistic goal, and that can be lost over time because it's a field dictated by commerce. But the person who's able to maintain that certain degree of integrity, sensibility, business ethics, and a moral approach to their work inspires a greater degree of confidence and devotion."
It sounds like a perfect description of a successful blogger in 2005, but the article is actually advice from Mark Burnett a Hollywood casting director on how to audition your way to success. While there is little doubt that the Hollywood crowd is probably much better looking than those in the blogosphere the other similarities are striking. Creativity unleashed, pseudonyms, passion, some big egos and some very talented yet odious scribes, a few superstars and a lot of bit players.