Saturday, March 25, 2006

School 1, Blogging 0.

Not much blogging at the moment and it is likely to remain so for the next week. I am working intensively on my second term exams (micro-economy, marketing and corporate strategy) and the pressure is mounting between group assignments and individual exams. As you can imagine, studying on top of working is eating most (all) my free time and unfortunately, blogging has been the first casualty.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Media consumption: surfing web officially overtakes watching TV

Brits spend 164 minutes online each day, equal to more than 41 days per year, compared to 148 minutes or 37 days for TV viewers. Government statistics shows that 64% of adults regularly go online. See article on Google survey from BBC.

I am going to ask one of my all time favourite question again: why is online media not getting a fair share of media budget compared to TV or newspapers? When will marketers get it? I ranted about this a while ago following an unofficial survey I gathered from Millward-Brown, one of our sister agency. There are no rational reasons.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wal-Mart enlists bloggers for PR campaign

My colleague Niall pointed me to a NY Times article (dated 7th of March if you don’t have a subscription and look for the print version) revealing that Wal-Mart uses bloggers to push its communication agenda. How did the NY Times found out? Several bloggers enrolled in Wal-Mart’s PR program regurgitated almost verbatim most of the statements they received from Edelman, Wal-Mart’s agency. They did that often without naming their sources of their relationship with either company.

This excellent article raises some valid questions about bloggers’ “independence” and what they should disclose to their readers. It seems to me that on the long-term, bloggers who churn out press-releases or have affiliation with companies, but do not disclose them will loose their readers’ trust, thus deflating the very own reason why they were worth engaging with at the first place. From a PR standpoint, it provides an interesting challenge: how to drive communication agenda with bloggers while preserving their authenticity?

Disclaimer: Edelman is a respected competitor to Hill & Knowlton, my agency. This post does not cast any judgement of value but is aimed at stimulating discussion on relationships between PR professionals and bloggers.

Who needs RSS when web users 'only visit six websites'?

According to a research published by Diretgov, half of UK internet users regularly visit just 6 websites on average. 95% also say that they go online with a specific destination in mind (what happened to "web surfing"?).

Steve Rubel thinks that this could explain why RSS hasn't taken off yet. I agree, most people don't need to keep a watch on dozens of websites or blogs, so see little use for an aggregator or feed system. The fact that RSS feeds are not user-friendly enough for the average web users doesn't help either. This could confine RSS to innovators or professional usage for a while.

Via Steve Rubel