The Importance of Blogs in The Relationship Economy
We have all been approached by someone trying to provide us with what he thinks is the “best thing since sliced bread,” and yet we are not convinced, and therefore, he doesn’t make the sale. What is missing, here? Certainly not passion, because if someone really believes in a product or service, his/her passion will show its way through the presentation. We believe that the most important thing – next to passion – a person can have about what he is selling is a relationship with potential clients/customers.
An important step in the formation of relationships is to find and take part in the Conversational Rivers that characterize the social web.
What are Conversational Rivers?
Conversational Rivers, also known as cascading conversations, are naturally occurring conversations which are organic in nature, one-to-one, then to millions. When we read an inspirational or influential blog, we have just dipped our feet into the Conversational River. While some blogs may be nothing but random thoughts of the author or complaints about what the local cafeteria was serving for breakfast on that particular day, other blogs are authored by great minds who are changing the nature of business. The more popular blogs, often “favorited” by readers, have vast readership and influence. They are truly the Conversational Rivers, while the blogs that have only a limited readership or are usually read by those who are part of a sub-culture are nothing more than stagnant ponds.
While it can be therapeutic to write these “stagnant ponds,” authoring of such can provide little in the way of professional improvement. But how do we become influential just by writing a blog?
How do we create influence through blogging and the social web?
Find a topic or topics about which you are passionate. Remember in high school or college when we had to write on a subject about which we cared nothing about? Our writing lacked enthusiasm and zest. But when we wrote a book report or term paper on something we absolutely loved, we excelled! Blogging can be similar. If we were to pick a topic about which we feel nothing – no anger, joy, elation, or hatred, etc. – we cannot expect ourselves to turn out a novel like Hemingway or Rowling.
But if we find something about which we really feel passionate, we are on the way to forming a Cascading River of Conversation. Whether we’re writing about the latest advances of nanotechnology, the rules of grammar, the difference between craft beer and the mass-produced beer of AnheiserBusch, it really doesn’t matter, though it may affect your readership and the types of readers you have.
The key to it is consistency. In order to have a blog which provides widespread readership day-in, day-out, we must post on a regular or frequent basis. Some of the most successful bloggers post every single day, sometimes with multiple posts per day. Others post five days a week, and some only post once a week. Though we don’t have hard data providing us with the information that one who posts once a week has a fifth of the readership of someone who posts daily, it stands to reason that the search engines are more likely to “hit” on one with more frequent posts, but at the same time, it may be the subject matter covered in the blog which ultimately determines what the numbers are.
What’s the appeal of blogging?
Even thirty years ago, being “published” meant that one was either a journalist working for a newspaper or magazine, or that one had written a book which a publisher had agreed to purchase.
Today, it is much easier to be published, and though it may be increasingly difficult to get a book deal from Random House or some other big-name publisher, there are companies which will print and produce your book – for a fee. While this may be the way to go for some, there is an even easier way to be “published.” It’s called the internet.
Technically, “published” means that more than one person reads what was written. Therefore, even the casual blogger is “published.” As long as someone besides the author reads the text, we can call ourselves published. The difficulty is explaining that no, we haven’t written books, nor do we work for a newspaper or magazine, but we are still published.
Besides padding our egos, blogging allows us to influence others’ thoughts and actions without being overtly demanding or pushy. By creating connections and a frequent readership, we allow others to see inside our minds: they can learn what is really important to us. When we provide our views, whether religious, political, existential or other, we are not only revealing how we feel about certain issues, but we are in a sense swaying them to see our way. In essence, we are persuading them to see the world through our personal filter.
How do I get people to find my blog?
The internet provides us with a vast array of tools which we can use to increase the readership of our blogs. Not only can we find the sites offering to host our blogs for free, but there are also a number of sites which can increase our readership. Technorati is a site which allows the search engines to find the most recently-updated blogs. Other good sites which can boost our readership are MyBlogLog, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.
Another way to increase the number of hits to our blog is to comment on others’ blogs. When we read a good blog, or even one which is not good but makes good points, we should comment on it, specifically, and show that we understood it and either agree or disagree with the post. By doing this, as long as we don’t leave an anonymous comment, we provide others with a link to our blog!
In terms of The Relationship Economy, the creation and maintenance of a blog provides us with the means to begin fostering relationships with others. Time is our most valuable commodity, and by providing a single portal through which others can the information they need and want, we make ourselves more valuable to them. Not only does a blog provide us with the credibility that we know about what we are talking or writing, but it also shows complete strangers that we recognize the value of forming relationships via the social web.
How ‘bout it?
This entry was posted on February 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm and is filed under grammar, networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments.comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.