Home On Influence – Media Interest in Blogs

On Influence – Media Interest in Blogs

Summary: Let bloggers focus on getting the content right. Delivering that
content to a large readership is another business altogether and one which media
companies are best suited to provide.

My previous post was a
rumination on whether the future for Web content creators is getting brighter, with the
increased interest in bloggers by media companies such as Salon and MSN – not to mention
niche companies such as Jason Calacanis’Weblogs, Inc, whose business model is to harness
blog writing talent.

Along these same lines, Peter Lindberg discovered
that a Swedish media agency had included him on a top ten list of the most
important/influential bloggers in Sweden. Peter was ranked number 10. The Swedish
Blogosphere has apparently been abuzz with this and people are wondering why some
bloggers were included and others weren’t. Media Culpa
had some great comments on all this, firstly about the big picture:

“Does this mean that my blog now is officially considered a proper medium and that all
sorts of PR people will start pitching me now (that has already started but not by anyone
from Sweden)?”

My take is that yes, this is another sign that bloggers are gaining some
respectability in the media world and that it’s an opportunity for unknown writers to
gain a foothold in the media via their blogs. It’s still early days, but the signs are
there (especially if you’re actively looking for them!).

Media Culpa went on to make the following observations, regarding why readership
numbers (aka The A-List phenomenon) doesn’t seem to have been a major factor in the top
10 selections:

“Some criticism to the list today has been around the fact that there are other
Swedish blogs with possibly more readers than these ten. So why have Chadie for example
been excluded? I think that Observer have ranked the blogs not only on number of readers
but also considered:

1. Focus – are they trying to influence readers with a clear agenda?

2. Platform – are they writers that already have influence? If Göran Persson started
blogging tomorrow morning he would be the most influential blogger before lunch, simply
because of his position. Many of the names on the top ten list already are influential
people in media and/or politics.

3. Topic – these blogs are all focused on media and politics and other blogs that
comment on a broader variation of topics may lose out in terms of impact.

And because of that, my guess is that Observer thinks that some Swedish blogs may
reach a lot of readers, but in regards of their influence over public opinion, they are
not influential enough to be on the list.”

My take: I find that criteria very refreshing! It shows that good focused content is
just as valuable (if not more so) than number of readers or hits. Of course, I would say
that… being a C-Lister 😉 But the Observer has it right I think: influence is all
about targeted and focused content; and writing it in a compelling manner. Once a blogger
has that bit right, then the likes of Jason Calacanis or Salon can take them to
the next level by adding marketing and mass eyeballs to the mix.

What I’m saying is: let bloggers focus on getting the content right. Delivering
that content to a large readership is another business altogether and one which media
companies are best suited to provide. Unless of course you’re already an A-Lister, in
which case you can do both. But most of us just want to focus on writing great content –
we need those media companies to take us to the next level.

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