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Editor's note: With the author's permission, we've updated this entry to cl arify some terms. By Carlo S. Ople* Over the past few weeks, there have been talks going around on what advertising agencies and marketers should expect from bloggers. Iâve been thinking about t his for a long time now, and I think I have enough examples and put enough thou ght into this to publish it on this blog. Companies who want to tap bloggers should be aware of the different kinds of bl oggers. Not all bloggers can influence your target market, and not all of them can have the same level of interaction with their readers. Iâve generally defined the types of bloggers into these 4 categories: Value, Ho bby, Journal and Google. Thereâs a fifth type which Iâll share at the end of th e post. Note that these categories can overlap, and in fact some of the best bl oggers have stricken a balance on how to be all 4. However, these are rare blog gers. Most of the bloggers right now just fall to either 1 or 2 of these catego ries. 1. HOBBY BLOGGERS. They generate content from the t hings or activities that interest them the most. The best example here would be Food Blogs. There are so many already in the Philippines. Whatâs amazing is th at only a few restaurants are tapping the potential of driving more traffic to their stores by partnering with the top food bloggers in the Philippines. Other topics that Hobby bloggers talk about can be: anime, movie reviews, fashion, g eneral merchandise, photography, etc. Hobby Bloggers have good potential to grow communities and with that comes auth ority and influence. This happens more if the blogger is actually good at what heâs doing. If a Hobby Blogger is also a Value Blogger, then you have one of th e most influential types of online personalities (more on Value Bloggers below) . 2. JOURNAL BLOGGERS. They usually post about life experiences. Their topics can be really random and can be anything under the sun. A lot of Journal Bloggers can be found on social networks especially on Multiply. Favori te topics include current events especially topics that are being discussed by media outfits and online communities. Journal Bloggers' readership is usually c onfined to their circle of friends. This is so because people interested in fol lowing Juan Cruz for example, will be people who know and are close to him. The reach is not there. However, since Journal Bloggers are very credible (because they know each other personally) to their readers, you can expect that they ca n easily convince readers 3. GOOGLE BLOGGERS. They focus on Search Engine Optimization w ith no or little regard to relevant content, personal branding and influence. B loggers like them are in it for advertising and money. They prioritize building keywords so that search engines like Google and Yahoo will point towards them, thus giving them substantial amount of traffic. The problem with Google Blogge rs is that they may have really high readership, but you donât know where itâs coming from and the level of influence and interaction is very low. Google Blog gers will have a hard time building communities and a loyal following. 4. VALUE BLOGGERS. They are writers who put content, personal branding, and service as top priorities. Value Bloggers focus on delivering pos ts that add value to their readers by giving them insights, tips, tactic and ad vice on how to improve oneâs craft, hobby, or whatever. In other words, people go to Value Bloggers because what they write is relevant, sensible and useful o r something that can actually learn from. Value Bloggers will rarely sell out c ontent and advertising because they care about their personal brand and believe their audience deserve more than paid PR releases. Value Bloggers are the most influential types, because they have the strongest potential of building commu nities around their blog. They can easily get a following because what they off er is practical sound advice and insights on their particular niche. In fact, a gencies and marketers may encounter problems closing deals with Value Bloggers because they will not compromise their integrity in exchange for a few thousand bucks. OVERLAPPING TYPES Personally, I find Value Bloggers crossed with anything (especially Go ogle) will be the most effective Blogger in terms of reach, interaction and inf luence. Whatâs important here is that to build trust, they should focus on a ni che and deliver quality content useful to readers. They shouldnât settle for co py-paste methods or getting content from existing bloggers or online sources. B loggers are not just grapevines for information--they can generate good content . FOR MARKETERS: LET YOUR ONLINE MARKETING AGENCY DO THEIR JOB. If you hired a consultant or an agency to handle your blogger events, make sure they screen the invites well. The worst mistake you can do as a Product Manage r is to just say "Get me as much bloggers as possible." What if 90% of the blog gers that attended are not legit but posers? Then youâre just wasting your mone y, effort and time. Make sure that your consultant or agency does the following : 1. Donât do open invites. Tell them to show you the list of bloggers they plan to invite. 2. List of bloggers should show URL, niche, blogger type 3. Ask for their stats as well- Unique Visitors is an indicator of traffic (rea ch), while Bounce Rate and a high ratio between Unique Visitors and Page Hits c an be good tools to measure influence. Donât do blogger events just because itâs the âinâ thing. Do it because you kno w that it is really a cost-effective way to get your communication across to yo ur target market. However, make sure that what your offering is really good les t your PR event turns into a nightmare when your product disappoints the blogge rs. To Bloggers: What kind of blogger are you? Are you really giving value to your readers? Are you building an online community with your content? Are you bloggi ng just for the heck of it or do you want it to become a tool for you to advanc e your career, profession and business? Carlo Ople is the main author of New Media Philippines, a blog that aims to help Filipinos maxim ize and realize the potential of New Media. Apart from being a blogger, Carlo a lso serves as a Marketing Manager for one of the leading online gaming companie s in the Philippines. He is also a freelance digital marketing consultant and h as worked with various politicians and business owners expand their reach and i nfluence through the use of social media.
By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net THE proliferation of weblog tool and publishing platforms, such as Blogspot, Wordpress and its evolution to include multimedi a content such as art sketches, photographs, music and video drove a shift in p aradigm of publishing and sharing information. Everyone has power to become an author and publisher. In the corporate space, executives use blogs to deliver opinion on the industry and information on their products and offerings. Then thereâs the personal blo g. For most of us, the blog has become the extension of dairies, chronicling pe rsonal events and a sentimental log of personal statements on almost anything. For some, it becomes a therapy to deal with pain or loss. Still, others try to provide entertainment by dishing out entries of a fictional, intelligent house help. Sharing anecdotes, opinions or thoughts is inherent to us Filipinos. Given this and the blog, it is all but possible to turn the Filipino blogosphere as socia l catalyst for positive change. The act of blogging in itself is a form of stru ggle to express opinion. The written (or typed for online) word is mightier than the sword. T he word stares back at readers, compelling them to react and argue with the str ing of letters. And with the comments box even more accessible now than ever, o pinions are poured upon -- making a collective output from the thoughts of blog gers and readers. Blogs pave way for more open, wider discussion of critical to pics. Everyone has liberty to voice and fight for their ideas on an equal platf orm. Yes, it paves way for us to agree to disagree. Blog technology and good English are assets Filipinos can use to unite words in to stories and demand change. I believe it is high time most Filipino blogs mov e beyond being online diaries. Wear a different lens to discover blogging in a new perspective: a platform to contribute to positive change. Type a satire, a fictional story or a funny anecdote of social issues relevant to Filipinos. We have a thousand topics to write on news we see, hear or read. Awareness without action is not enough -- react, disagree and discuss the Filip ino social reality.
As a parent to growing kids, I found this helpful tips from Trend Micro on how to ensure the online safety of kids. Let's admit it, kids are quite fond of social networks (more than the ir parents). My generation grew up watching television. Today, kids have the In ternet and online social networks -- not to mention online games. So itâs best that we parents should also understand how social networks work, for instance, so we could guide them. Hereâs one good example from Trend Micro's website, which I think is very impor tant:
Set reasonable expectations. Pulling the plug on your childâs favor ite social site is like pulling the plug on their social life. This can shut do wn communication and send kids âundergroundâ where theyâre more at risk. Here's another one:Try to get your kids to share their profiles and blogs with you. Al so, use search engines and the search tools on social networking sites to searc h for your kids' full names, phone numbers, and other identifying information. You're not invading their privacy if they're putting personal info in public pl aces online.Do you have any other practical tips you wish to share?
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net How do you create blog? What copyright rules should be followed? How can you ea rn from blogging? Blogger and editor of Digital Filipino Janette Toral hopes to answer these questions in her late st book "Blogging from Home," which she launched at the recent Internet and Mob ile Marketing Association of the Philippines Summit in Makati City. Toral, who has been blogging for the last five years, said that she has been th inking of coming out with a book on blogging since 2006 but realized she needed to understand the blogging community more in particular its dynamics. "I hope to share how [people] could make a presence in the blogosphere and perh aps earn a little, without having to be so gung ho," Toral said in an interview . Watch this video interview with Toral. The book is, however, only taking into consideration blogging trends in the Phi lippines because, as Toral stressed, she would not want to sound like a true ex pert in the subject of blogging. On the other hand, she said she will have to market the book in Australia and t he US, specifically targeted at Filipinos abroad. Toral said the blogging community in the Philippines has grown and among the mo st popular blogs were cause-oriented. These blogs contained information that we re not easily accessible in other forms or web portals. She also referred to th e recently conducted Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs 2008, which she organized that recognized bloggers that mattered. As it is, a growing number of Filipino Internet users are reading bloggers to g et information they want. As such, bloggers are becoming publishers themselves. "Blogging is serious business in a sense that you have to have a lot of content , and depth. It also uses multimedia. Blogs have to have authentic and unique i nformation for people to stick," she said.
By Abigail Kwok INQUIRER.net IT was not until two years ago that I got hooked into blogging. Before that, I found it absurd that people would post their thoughts and their daily activities for all the world to see. I found it even more absurd that peo ple would post on their blogs yet change the preferences to private so other pe ople will not read the entries. I thought, "Why create an online diary if you a re not going to make it public anyway?" So I shunned the idea of creating my own blog, even as my friends maintained ei ther a personal website or an account with a blog site. But everything changed two years ago. My friend sent me a link to her blog, and I decided to check it out. Within minutes, I found myself absorbed in reading her blog and was amused at how many people gave their inputs to her entries. It was more like an onlin e community where you can share your thoughts with your friends and they get to share their points of view as well. It was then that I realized that blogs are more than just personal diaries wher e you write your daily activities. Rather, blogs are powerful tools for communi cating with others. Nowadays, people use their blogs to share their most intima te thoughts, such as political views, entertainment rants and raves, and cultur al views. Blogs like that of Newsbreak and PCIJ are just some of the popular online journals that people regularly visit to read ab out political insights and editorials. That was when I decided to start my own blog. I created an account with LiveJournal, one of the popu lar blog sites today. What got me hooked into LiveJournal, or LJ, is that it al lows you to create and participate in an online community where you can connect with hundreds of people. Itâs also a plus that most of my friends have LJ acco unts, making it easier for me to connect with them. Having an LJ account also l ets me get in touch with my friends because I can read their entries and share my comments. It also gives me the venue to create new relationships, like parti cipating in online communities and groups. Below are some of the features available in LiveJournal:
- LJ communities -- these function like online discussion boards where people group together to discuss common interests, like tea or Harr y Potter. I, for one, am a member of several The Beatles LJ communities. T he perks? I get updated about anything Beatles-related, like reunion conce rts, Beatles merchandise, and even Beatles gossip. This is a great way to get connected from people all over the world who share the same interests as you.
- The LJ Scrapbook -- if you own your personal scrapbook, then m anaging the LJ Scrapbook will be a breeze for you. The LJ Scrapbook allows you to post pictures of memorable events or people and personalize them a ccording to your preference and style. LJ provides 1GB of free storage spa ce for you to post all the photos and media you want.
- Memories -- if you have a memorable event or occasion you want to remember forever, then place it in your LJ Memories.
- Customization -- LJ allows you to customize your blog site dep ending on your style and preference. Your blog site includes an avatar or a picture of you that acts as your ID or nametag, so to speak. When you wr ite your entries, you can also indicate your mood, and location, as well a s the kind of music you are listening to right at the moment. This gives y our reader a background or context of you as the writer as you were writin g that particular entry.
- Protect your entries -- another perk offered by LJ is protection. You can customize your entries with its protection feature. So if you want just a handful of close friends to read your entry, you can create your own list of people that you want access to your entry/entries.
- User-friendly -- LJ is also user-friendly. If you arenât knowl edgeable with HTML, you donât have to worry, because LJ has a step-by-step guide on how to manage and customize your site. It is also very easy to n avigate, so it is also great for beginners. I have to admit though, that L J is not as easy as Blogger or Wordpress. Neverthe less, its features are easy to learn.
A-LIST blogger Robert Scoble posed this question recently , as he weighed on the impact of social networking service and other innovation s like Twitter on top bloggers.
I theorized that was due to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownceâs rise. Most of the non-A-list bloggers have been showing up on those places in droves. After all, if you are only writing a blog to tell y our family what your new kid is doing then something like Facebook is a lot bet ter for that.A-list bloggers are the celebrities in blogosphere. They're today's newspaper c olumnists who write about almost anything. Scoble continues:
Something is happening over on Twitter/Jaiku/Pownce, though. Thatâs where the action is. Does it take away from blogging? No because IT IS bloggin g. Albeit 140 characters at a time.My take: There are just too many blogs out there. As people produce more conten t, A-list bloggers included, people are starting to choose blogs they want to r ead. Content remains king. If the traffic of some A-list bloggers is falling, i t is perhaps time to rethink their content. In fact, I agree with one comment o n Scobleizer's blog that interest has tapered off, as more people get into blog ging. Or perhaps they're just too busy turning people into zombies on Facebook . Related entries:
I HAVE recently experienced a phenomenon over at my personal blog, where I had casually invited a few photographer friends to a cosplay shoot with Jerry Polen ce over at the Intramuros Golf Club on a Sunday afternoon. Where I had estimate d that about five or six people would come (we were around that number at 1:45 p.m.), we ended up with a total of over forty five photographers from different photo organizations. For a few minutes I was greatly overwhelmed and panicked over the situation but then, after gaining some composure, realized that this is a proof of concept o f how viral marketing works in the Philippines: from blog post to forum thread to an SMS campaign. At least for this case. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how such a thing could happen. Either (1) the post was made at the right time when no other photo events were occuring (2) nobody ever shot cosplay before so this was something different. Then I started to analyze the posting patterns. I first made the announcement back in May 12 with a follow-up on Ma y 18. The comments and signups only started in May 17 a> and peaked after the second reminder. I also found out that there was a cosp lay event the day before at the Mall of Asia side by side with "Eat Bulaga!" an d there were photographers there too. My findings do indicate that there were point persons involved with spreading t he word, who are "trusted and credible" sources of information. There was even an SMS campaign thanks to Eric Isaac. These would be y our online forum mavens and connectors, as Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point would refer to them. The quality of relationships, and not just the message itself, is what matters. As a blogger, I have learned that there is an offline component to your bloggin g. Attending blog events and networking with people to reinforce your positive self-concept as well as making the sincere effort to make new friends is one ke y to a successful blogging career.
CHECK out this article by Excerpt:
There was a time in my recent past when I was so burnt out I thought I had lost the gift to write. Blogging has helped me find myself again.
My primary blog "Midlife Mysteries" (www.nancydrewandme.blogspot.com) talks a bout "everything warm, wise and wonderful about the life of a 40-something moth er, wife and writer," and I belong to several blog communities such as Christia n Women Online (w ww.christianwomenonline.net) and locally, the Pinoy Moms Network (www.pinoymomsnetwork.com). Blogging is a form of therapy. It is a way of processing one's inner thoughts a nd feelings and finding other like-minded individuals on the journey.
LOTS of people are blogging nowadays, but not everyone is able to consistently update their blogs. Sometimes it's a case of ningas cogon, where we're all fired up when w e start blogging for the first time, but then lose interest or can't find the t ime to add new entries. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and befor e you know it, your blog has joined the growing ranks of the dead and dormant. As a disclaimer, I have to admit I haven't been able to update my personal blog for almost two month s, though I hope to start blogging there again pretty soon, otherwise people mi ght think I no longer have a life outside INQUIRER.net, heh. I'm not making exc uses, but in my defense I've been building the INQUIRER.net Blogs network, among other things, a s our company's gaming and multimedia editor. I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with fellow Blog Addicts team member, b5media.com technol ogy channel editor and INQUIRER.net interactive media consultant Jayvee Fernandez, after we finished rec ording another episode of hackenslash: the podcast. He said it's actually a challenge t o update your personal blog once you start maintaining several blogs, particula rly if you become a pro blogger. If you're writing for several blogs, and presumably talking about your differen t interests (after all, usually we blog about stuff we know best), then at some point you might have to decide what you're going to post on your own blog, and what you'll reserve for your other "work-related" blogs. Sometimes you need to learn to "compartmentalize" different aspects of your life, to use Jayvee's te rm. I'm relieved to hear that a seasoned blogger like Jayvee also finds this challe nging, heh; I feel a lot better now, and resolve to start taking care of my per sonal blog again. It's a balancing act, particularly since I'm also a tech blogger f or Singapore-based CNET Asia. Which is why it's not surprising that the number of active blogs is much fewer than the actual number of blogs out there. Here's an excerpt from the blog entry "Activ e Blogging Flat At 15.5 Million Blogs" by David Utter:
A lot of bloggers have discovered what writers have known for quit e a while. Writing requires effort. Anyone who thinks mercenaries care a lot ab out money hasn't met a professional writer. It's the carrot to the deadline sti ck. Heather Green's look at Technora ti's numbers on blogging isn't real surprising. Although the number of blogs co ntinues to rise, David Sifry's State of the Live Web shows a rela tive flatline in active blogging. Green cited Gartner analyst Adam Sarner on why this is really a good thing:That's why we're taking great care in launching new INQUIRER.net Blogs. We've b uilt our network slowly but steadily. It's what INQUIRER.net editor in chief JV Rufino and I have agreed upon from the very start: we won't launch a blog unle ss we're sure we can sustain it. We're here for the long haul. And we want to m ake sure that everyone who blogs for INQUIRER.net will understand that it takes commitment to regularly update these sites. We believe blogging is fun and rewarding, but we also know that it takes a cert ain amount of discipline. I guess most of the people who think blogging is easy haven't actually tried blogging, heh :) I'm happy to say that the number of pageviews and unique visits our blog networ k is generating has been very encouraging, just a little over two months after we launched our first blog. We now have 11 blogs, with more to come. It's an interesting balancing act, deciding which wave of blogs to launch next and which niches to address, and I hope you'll enjoy what we have in stor e for you in the weeks to come. This just the beginning. We're running a marathon. The last thing we want is to launch a blog network and fail to live up to the hype, ending up with blogs th at are rarely updated. We believe our readers deserve better than that.Sarner argues that, since the audience reading blogs continues to grow, this classic tech cycle of hype and maturity is good news for the rema ining blogs. Those left standing are the influencers that attract audiences and advertisers.Blogging has been around for a few years, and advice abounds on the Internet on how to blog well. Someone who's firing up Wordpress or Movable Type for the fi rst time, for whatever reason, should take away this lesson: blog fame isn't a sprint, but a marathon. Not everyone is in shape to run one.
YOU'VE probably experienced it at one time or another. Days when you just can't seem to blog about anything. We know about writer's block, but since blogging is becoming a way of life for many people, I think we should make a separate category for blogger's block, he h. What do you do when blogger's block strikes? How do you keep blogging even when you're not in the mood -- particularly if you're a pro blogger? Are there days when you feel as if you've lost your passion for blogging? Share what works fo r you, and help others cope with blogger's block. And gee, looks like I was able to post an entry even when I'm kinda suffering f rom blogger's block right now, heh. I guess that's one way to deal with it: jus t blog it.