Had an interesting interaction with an FMCG Client for whom we are setting up some presentations and workshops around how they can take their brands into the social media realm. I sent a client a detailed note on what we could provide, and she forwarded it to one of the marketing guys who felt it is exciting, but perhaps too focussed on blogging and not enough on youtube!
I dashed off a response to the person who is leading this effort that she must frame this workshop for her organization, only then can she get buy-in. It is one thing for us as consultants to deliver on the content, but because it is such a new field here, and because of the tremendous hype and buzz around it, there are many misconceptions; the most salient one being that blogs are individual personal spaces.
My response to her:
Please frame the workshop when you send it out internally – some thoughts on that … assure them we will talk about youtube and many many many more such
services like flickr, twitter, podcasting, facebook etc. All these
are microblogging applications. And we will do a whole session on
facebook – which is the latest ‘hottie’ and is a platform where users
are encouraged not only to create their ‘user-generated’ content, but
also build new applications bottom-up.
I think there is a mismatch here in what your team
understands about what blogging is – and what it actually is. Most
non-bloggers seem to refer to blogging as merely writing a diary. But
that’s not complete, nor does it do blogging any justice. Blogging is the act of publishing content online
in a space that is yours – usually chronologically ordered. It could be
videos, audio, short text messages, photos – all forms of multimedia.
It could be in your own space where usually you use a text-driven
blogging platform, and to which you can add plugins for a multimedia
experience, or it could be within a social network space – like
youtube, twitter, etc
So, in the presentation unless they understand what blogging
really is – and what influence bloggers have, I think we will be doing
the social media space no justice at all. Moreover, it is bloggers
that are the early adopters, analysts and consultants in this space —
unless they had built it, it would not exist. Much the same in the
potential for products and brands. They are the new influentials – and
they have the potential to really evangelize or rant big time.
This is not just an international phenomenon – a recent study
in India revealed that 85% of active internet users claimed to read
blogs regularly! This is their growing influence. Today most news
channels in India have a list of bloggers they call
upon on general stories they are covering – to get the buzz on what’s
going around on the web. When Sunita Williams and her safe return to earth was the big thing on TV, I was asked by a TV Channel to participate in a show on it – I turned it down, as it was not really relevant to either blogging or my areas of interest – but that’s a different issue. A lot of civic and political action is now
being mobilized through mobile phones and online. Many of these use
blogging platforms for their causes, and build large communities around
them by taking them into Orkut and Facebook.