David Sifry has published his “State of the Blogosphere” report and the results emphasise why you should pay attention to blogs as a valuable business tool. The statistics are mindblowing. Here is a summary:
- Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
- The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
- It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
- On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
- 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
- Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
The phenomenal growth of the blogosphere and its connected nature alone make blogs worth paying attention to. What makes a blog important is the fact that it can become almost viral in the way that it spreads and the information it conveys to its readers. Blogs are often created by your customers and suppliers and will either praise or condemn you depending on your customer’s or supplier’s experience of your services. Visitors to those blogs that either praise or criticise you often publish posts of their own in their blogs referring to the original post and, in the process, that praise or criticism potentially spreads exponentially. A complimentary blog can be an awesome form of free advertising.
Blogs are also a tool you can use to express your voice and tell your customers and suppliers about your services and products. The platforms available are often free or inexpensive to set up and can be remarkably effective. If anything a blog humanises you and shows your customers and suppliers that they are dealing with a human being. This can deepen your relationship with your customers and suppliers and really enhance your marketing initiatives. Your customers and suppliers want to hear from you. They want to know you better. Oblige them. See what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have published a book called “Naked Conversations” whose sole purpose is to make out a business case for blogging. This book is almost an unofficial sequel to another important work called the “Cluetrain Manifesto” which argues that markets are conversations. Cluetrain spoke about having the conversations now made possible by blogs before blogs were born. These conversations are important because they are what people want. You have no doubt heard the truth that people deal with people they have relationships with. Aren’t conversations meant to build and strengthen relationships?
(This post has been amended)