by , Tamar
There have been several ’stories’ in the past week or so which seem to highlight a worrying trend amongst ‘offline’ folk – that is, that bloggers are not worthy of the same respect as other forms of journalist or marketer.
Andrew Marr is probably the most vocal example, speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival this week. As reported by the Guardian, Marr apparently described blogging as:
“…so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night”
He went one step further, deciding that bloggers (presumably such a small group of people that they can be lumped in one single demographic) are not the sort of people he wants to be dealing with:
“A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people”
Thankfully, several other equally-prominent media folk have jumped to the defence of the bloggers in question – my favourite was Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, also writing in the Guardian:
“They might not be household names, or worthy of a slot on Radio 4, but to dismiss them out of hand seems wrong. As for bloggers being “inadequate, pimpled and single”, that’s no way to talk about Jon Snow. He isn’t single.”
Krishnan makes several very strong points in his reply (with very good humour, to boot) – but the point above really cristalises it for me. Bloggers might not be household names – though I’m sure if you surveyed a lot of households these days you’d be surprised by the result – but they are just as entitled to an opinion as every other commentator.
Worse still, to dismiss them as being not-worth-listening to simply because of the medium they choose to write on is just plain stupid. As a Marketeer, I regularly work with bloggers whose blogs get readerships of well over 100,000 unique users, some of whom none of you reading this will have heard of. But a journalist from the Financial Times – a newspaper with a readership of a little over 400,000 at last count – will be treated with respect and reverence by the journalism community. That doesn’t seem right to me.
More recently (today in fact) Twitter was abuzz with the story of Muireann Carey-Campbell, a blogger who had a nasty run in with a PR agency and a very large phone company. I won’t rehash the story here, as it’s been reported in numerous different places already today. Needless to say, it’s another example of a blogger being treated with much less respect than their more traditional peers. Despite the fact that both ‘guilty’ parties have since apologised, it’s such a shame that these situations only ever seem to get resolved when bloggers make a song-and-dance about it.
I can’t say I’m too surprised that old-media folk are on the defensive when it comes to bloggers – with pay-walls and over-hyped iPad applications supposedly forming the future of ‘real’ journalism, the winds of change are clearly blowing hard. As grown-ups and professional marketeers, it’s up to us to help bloggers prove their clout and show how influential they really are. Considering most of us are bloggers in both our spare and work time time too, I’d say the gloves are firmly off on this one…
Photo via audreyjm529 on Flickr
by , Tamar
The online community has been buzzing for the past 24 hours, first in anticipation-of and now digesting the ramifications-of the ‘‘. Announced just after midnight on Tuesday (UK time), Twitter have completely revamped their website to give more space to a number of new features.
If you want the headline view, I wrote a blog early this morning on the subject – but I wanted to head over here to the IAB social blog to speculate over how these changes might affect advertisers…
The main areas of change that will probably affect brands are:
The new, all-inclusive, super-sticky site will undoubtedly encourage a lot of tweeters who previously used the service through third-party apps and sites to come back to Twitter.com – which in turn will obviously increase the exposure that existing advertisers receive. Recent developments like Sponsored tweets, promoted trends and the like are already making waves, but are only visible to people visiting Twitter.com. This massive increase in page-views will surely make advertising directly with Twitter a much more attractive proposition.
The new layout also gives much greater opportunity for tweeters (and brands) to give exposure to great media content, without ever leaving the site. Partnerships with services like YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo will mean that video and image content (amongst others) will be viewable directly in your Twitter stream – as my boss and Tamar’s CEO commented this morning, with ‘New Twitter’ it’s quite likely that the Old Spice ‘guy’ would have become a sensation on Twitter, as opposed to mainly on YouTube…
Finally, the third consideration for brands and advertisers will be how this affects third-party sites that they might currently be advertising on. As this post by Mashable points out, the New Twitter is essentially a desktop app, on the web. Services like TweetDeck, Hootsuite and the like will undoubtedly feel the pinch after New Twitter rolls out, so if you advertise with them you might be in for a drop in views. Just speculation of course, but I can’t see how this WON’T affect those apps…
With the roll-out set to continue over the next couple of weeks, many of the ramifications will only start to be felt in the next month or so, but even at this early stage it’s clear to see the ‘New Twitter’ will be a much more welcome place to advertisers, brands and users alike…
We IAB Social Media Council members are all about giving honest, practical advice to brands and practitioners.
This handy little four and a half-minute video from Henry Elliss, associate director of social media at Tamar, provides a perfect intro to blogging for brands… The do’s, the don’ts, the ins and outs, and who’s blogging’s the best in the UK right now. Enjoy!
, Associate Director-social media, Tamar
Brand Building Through Search Guide
Recent announcements from Twitter on its decision to base its new sponsored-tweet model on results returned through search highlight the growing relationship between search and social media. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made big changes recently that blur the line between ‘search’ and ‘social’. These changes- real-time search results in Google SERPs, Google Labs ‘social graph’ experiment, expansion of the ‘universal’ results being returned to users and so on – are focused on giving people more relevant results.
This has always been Google’s defining vision but Twitter and other services are fast becoming searchers’ first port of call when looking for emotional or opinion-based answers to their queries.
Keep updated on changes to well publicised sites like Twitter and Google, you also have to keep one eye on smaller, up-and-coming sites like Topsy and Collecta. Real-time dedicated search engines that crawl the social space for live opinion and news on any topic you could think of.
Here are our top-tips on how to keep yourself ahead of your competitors when it comes to social search:
• Find and utilise a social monitoring platform/tool that suits your needs and use it regularly. One-off reports and 500-page dossiers aren’t going to help you in the fast-paced new world we live in.
• As well as using sites like Twitter for your business, use them personally to keep your eye on industry news. Following tweeters like Mashable, AlleyInsider and, of course, the IAB will ensure you always know the new sites and services before the mainstream do.
• Apply SEO techniques and strategy to your social objects as you would do with your classic site. Keywords in titles, optimised tags and site-specific meta data will help your content get found in all the search engines, no matter how they decide rankings.
• Be everywhere. You have to make sure that when people are doing searches that are relevant to you, your brand is dominating as much of that search real estate as possible – whatever engine they choose to use.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) –has partnered with search and social conversion agency Tamar to educate marketers about the importance of using search to build brands, with a step-by-step guide to putting the discipline at the heart of online strategies.
The full guide is available for download from the IAB site here or to request a copy please contact .
For more information on how you can contribute/sponsor one of the upcoming handbooks in the brand building series (Brand Building Through Integration, Brand Building Through Creativity and Brand Building Through Relationships) contact
Our first session of the Rising Voice in Social Media kicked off yesterday. , Associate Director – Social Media at Tamar (and hardcore Eva Longoria Parker fan) talked our delegates through how to get the most out of blogging and Twitter, with some case studies and best practice examples.
By , Associate Director – Social Media, Tamar
Before I start this blog, I must apologise for both the tenuous nature of my analogy, and the actual origin of the story too. Both may make you chuckle, or they might simply make you wonder “What the hell was he searching for THAT for?” – but hopefully you can see past my eccentric search habits and make it through to the end of my story, for therein lies the gold… Read more…