Wednesday, March 16, 2005

To blog or not to blog... Is that the question?

Comment from Steve O'Keefe

It's not every day you get challenged by a reigning champ. So, even though I'm outclassed here, I feel honor bound to answer the comment to my blog from Steve O'Keefe, Author of "Complete Guide to Internet Publicity" and VP, International Association of Online Communicators.

Rather than answer in the comment section, I'm afraid I turned this blog into a mobius strip by linking to a comment on my own first posting. So please bear with me. The gist of O'Keefe's comment to my blog (read comment here) is that blogs are passing fad and not worth all the fuss.

O'Keefe says:
Why are blogs doomed?
1. Blog Spam
2. Time Commitments
3. Low Signal to Noise Ratio

So why am I bothering to learn to blog? The most obvious answer is the "be-there-or-be-square" syndrome. As a writer... as a copywriter and marketing consultant... I have to be up on the tools of my trade. Yes, a lot of blogs are glorified teenagers' diaries with more "noise" than "signal." But there are growing numbers of useful marketing and writing blogs. Yes, they're ephemeral. But so is today's Wall St. Journal.

A lot of people debate what's better, a newsletter or a blog. But that's like asking which screwdriver is better, flat tip or Phillips? Any good toolbox needs both.

Spam isn't kosher in email or blogs. Many bloggists (is that a word? I use it to mean partisan bloggers) say email is dead. Granted, spam and viruses have made email marketing a minefield. But I still write ezine newsletters. Both ezines and blogs have their advantages and disadvantages. I've been neglecting both of mine for lack of time. But it's a lot faster to add a blog post than write a whole newsletter.

My own blog is still an experiment, so it's not a good case in point. But my client, Gil Student of Yashar Books, has a personal blog that is read--and often quoted--by a tightly knit group. That "hive" forms the active core of our target market. They are the (choose your own metaphor): Powerful Sneezers; Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen; Network Hubs... that spread the word-of-mouth to others. And word-of-mouth is what we need.

So, I'll continue to blog. And I'll continue to follow the advice in "Complete Guide to Internet Publicity" along with the rest of the tools in my kit. And I'll look forward to reading each issue of O'Keefe's newsletter... and his blog!


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