Sunday, July 24, 2005

Blogs Must Be Two Way Conversations

The unilateral, one way communication blog is a pseudo blog, in most cases. Except for link logs that are just providing pre-surfed web suggested URLs. Or blogs that for some reason cannot find an effective way to prevent or delete comment spam.

Why would a blog author NOT want to hear from readers?

Why would an organization think they can shout or preach at customers, members, the public via a blog? People really are sick of that.

I'm offended by religious sermons.

Congregations want to speak out, give their testimony, issue a praise report, make a prayer request, issue warnings, ask questions, report news, reveal what they've learned in their meditations and study. The falsely "exalted" servant called the pastor, priest, or spiritual mentor isn't the only one receiving illumination.

I'm offended by professors who lecture while students merely take notes or passively listen.

Students want to challenge, question, contribute to the learning process. The tenured professor does not have all the answers, and is probably wrong or not current about many things.

I've been advocating two-way conversations, enabling blog comments, encouraging readers to email you, for quite a while.

Blogs are a simple, easy, fast way to build relationships with customers and colleagues.

Readers should feel free to scold, question, anger, joke with, tease, compliment, and illuminate blog authors.

It's nice that many lurkers (non-interactive, silent, unknown users) read blogs.

But when a comment is posted or an email received, the blogger feels like he or she is connecting with others.

Blog authors want to know they are delighting, helping, provoking, informing, coaching, challenging, inspiring, enlightening other people.

Bloggers may have to say unpleasant or shocking things now and then. All types of material may enter the blog via the blog author's experiences, observations, insights.

I'm going to shut up now, and let a better mind speak on this subject, to drive the point home to you, gentle reader...


People didn't come to the internet for more of this featureless, characterless crap. They came for less. They came because they were bored silly by sterile vanilla one-size-fits-all commercial media.

They came because they were hungry for something entirely else. And we found it: each other.

The net enables people to speak, not just to listen.


This new empowerment of the audience is intrinsic to internet technology. It's not something extra or something that can be taken away. It comes with the territory.


People gravitate toward websites that feed their curiosity, that speak to their passions, their genuine interests. And in this process new micromarkets are just now emerging. Thousands of them.

They are coalescing around voice: around people who are articulate, entertaining, knowledgeable, and informative.


Instead of pitching products, corporate communications must seed conversations that become the basis for further community discourse.

Effective communications will not come from traditional PR and marketing mouthpieces, but from employees spanning the corporation--real people with real passions, real enthusiasm.

In contrast, one-way product pitches will fail to connect with genuine market interests. They will fall on deaf ears.

Christopher Locke
GONZO MARKETING, p. 100, 101


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

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