Thursday, September 29, 2005

UK consumers trust bloggers' opinions

A survey of 1,100 UK consumers by hosting company Hostway found that 77% use information from blogs to influence their purchasing decision.

Read in New Media Age, 29th of September. Link to full survey results to be updated as soon as I find it...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Firms in the dark over blog threat

The Angel blog published the results of a survey of 50 PR professionals from around the world about how they regard blogs as a business communications tool. The Guardian summarises the findings: "Firms in the dark over blog threat".

Two key facts:

- more than 60% of PR executives interviewed believed that web blogs by unhappy employees or exasperated customers can damage corporate reputations
- More than 80% of US executives admitting reading blogs "at least five times a week," a figures which fell to just 36% in Europe. (This seems quite high to me).

You will have to register to the Guardian site to view the piece.

Apple v. Bloggers: the Nano Story

It looks like a re-run of the iPOD's dirty secret saga which resulted in a class action suit settlement . According to some unlucky purchasers, the Nano screen is prone to scratches and damages. One Nano owner has set-up a website to share his story (warning: some readers may find some damaged products' pictures upsetting) and check whether other Nano customers encountered similar problems. Apple's Nano discussion forum is buzzing with such conversations.

Steve Rubel published a Blogpulse's graph illustrating the increase in blog postings mentioning the problem and The Register ran a story on it.

UPDATED: Apple's response, courtesy of an anonymous reader.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Consumer Generated: from Mayhem to Marketing

Why WOM is back on marketers’ agenda and how to make it work for their brands.

A 2004 Intelliseek study 1 (PDF) found that consumer–to-consumer recommendations—even online consumer postings to forums—carry a higher trust factor than virtually all other forms of advertising, including TV, radio and print. That did not come as a surprise to many long established businesses. In fact, one of them always understood the value of consumer recommendations; its entire sales strategy relies on turning customers into brand ambassadors and capitalising on their social networks to influence others to purchase. That company is Tupperware and it made a fortune by understanding word-of-mouth’s power 50 years ago. Since then, WOM has been reengineered as “Consumer Generated Marketing” and thanks to blogging, its persuasion power is making business media headlines again through a series of high profile customer relations disasters. Let’s review what the forces driving consumers’ propensity to whine back on marketers’ agenda are and how marketers could reclaim WOM to engage into productive conversations with consumers.

Read more at Global PR Blog Week 2.0

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Google Defends Google Print And I Promote Project Gutenberg

Good post from Google defending its Google print project in the face of a lawsuit by the Authors Guild. I think that the project can only benefit authors, especially those less published by encouraging people to discover their work.

I found the post on Always On.

If you are interested in the topic, you should go to Project Gutenberg and read about their philosophy:

"The Project Gutenberg Philosophy is to make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search. This has several ramifications: The Project Gutenberg Etexts should cost so little that no one will really care how much they cost. They should be a general size that fits on the standard media of the time . The Project Gutenberg Etexts should so easily used that no one should ever have to care about how to use, read, quote and search them..."

They work with copyright free materials (copyright has expired) or with authors' consent.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Global PR Blog Week 2.0: How PR Should Change in the New Era of Blogging?

The second edition of Global PR Blog Week has officially started. This online event will be held from today till the 23rd of September and bring over 50 influential PR practitioners and bloggers in to discuss how public relations and business communications are changed by new communications technologies.

Full programme available here. Check out today’s article from Niall Cook on how Hill & Knowlton went about setting-up its own blogging platform. I contributed a piece on consumer generated marketing to be featured on the 21st.

Please join us and contribute. To paraphrase the event's welcome message: "All you need is a little bit of curiosity, an open mind, and the desire to learn new things and share your experience and knowledge with other people. Skeptics are welcome, too."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Google Search Blogs: The End Of Bloggers' Influence?

Google launched its dedicated blogs search engine. Many have reported on it and I did not feel that I had anything of value to add to the chatter. However, this morning I came across this old article from "The Register while looking for more information about Google's blog search features.

The article's premise was that a dedicated blog search could prompt Google to remove blogs from its main search index, thus "improving" the quality of its search results. This speculation was based on Google removing Usenet postings from search results after acquiring

A graduate interviewed for the article commented "The main problem with blogs is that, as far as Google is concerned, they masquerade as useful information when all they contain is idle chatter".

The issue: trackbacks. "The low information quality of blog-infested Google results is a consequence of bloggers' attempts to introduce community aspects to what remains a solitary activity. The auto-citation feature 'Trackback' is frequently fingered as the culprit: many search results Google returns are trackbacks."

The article ends by pre-empting bloggers reactions: "One group is likely to protest long and hard, however: and that's people who have taken advantage of this quirk to use Google as their primary promotion channel or reputation creator. "

Putting the genie back into its bottle?

I won't speculate as to whether Google will remove blogs from its main search engine or not but if it did, I suspect that it will remove a big chunk of bloggers' ability to influence others with their views and opinions. If I were Land Rover and the second highest link in a search on my latest car model was a catalogue of disasters told real-time by a desilussioned owner, I will be pressured to react as I would know that millions of prospective buyers search for infos online before purchasing. If this legitimate rant was self-contained within a "blog" section, I may think that there is less pressure to act as it is "not mainstream" and most would not come across it. Food for thoughts.

Would love to hear some views on that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why less blogging?

Some of you have noticed that I did not post as frequently as usual this past 2/3 weeks. Fear not, I do not suffer from blog fatigue yet. I have started some part-time studies and I am in the process of purchasing a propery abroad. That and my work commitments left me with little room to sleep, let alone blog. I am getting better organised now and I am back to help spreading good words about why we are at the start of a media revolution (way beyond PR...). I even found time to contribute an article on "consumer generated marketing" to the forthcoming Global PR Blog Week event.

Thanks to whose who kept reading!

More to come...

Yahoo Hires Blog Journalist for Conflict Coverage

Yahoo hired Kevin Sites, a seasoned multimedia journalist (text/audio/video) and blogger to provide a more personal and interactive approach to reporting on conflicts (and compete for attention with mainstream media outlets).

"Yahoo plans to create media-rich packages that put the stories in context. For example, a story about Iraq could include links to other news stories on the conflict, maps of the region and a nod toward other blogs that discuss the war. (...) such multilayered coverage will likely attract younger people to its programming."

Story on

I think that this is a brilliant move and a significant milestone in reshaping our stale media landscape.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blogs and Free Content Are Hurting B2B Publishers

Because of blogs and freely available content accessible through search engines, user spending on B2B content fell 15% between 2001 and 2005. This translates into less ad revenue per user for publishers since online ads command less of a premium than print ads.

See article from Information Week.