Blogs and the press; Technorati figures; mash-up movie trailers - this week's PR Business column
Bloggers influence the media, says analyst
According to a new report by Jupiter Research's Julian Smith, bloggers in Europe are having a big influence on business issues and public debate. The report says that although people contributing to the web via message boards, forums and blogs are in the minority, their views are influential and can provide a "snapshot" of conversations happening in the real world.
Quoted in the on the Guardian's Media website, Mr Smith said: "The strongest part of their influence is on the media: if something online suddenly becomes a story in the local press, then it matters."
The conclusion for PR teams is obvious and stark: ignore blogs at your peril. But if you can create content and stories that work for bloggers, it could be another route to winning coverage on the web and beyond.
Much of the time blogs tend to reflect what is in the news, commenting on and re-reporting news from traditional mainstream media, but this report reminds us that content can also flow in the other direction.
Blog boom continues…
Further evidence of the importance of new media was provided this week as blog search engine Technorati released its latest "State of the Blogosphere" report this week. Even without including the millions of blogs on MySpace and similar social networking sites, the trend is still very much for growth.
Staggeringly, Technorati says there are twice as many blogs now as there were six months ago - 35.3 million in all, with 1.2million posts created on them on an average day (that's 50,000 per hour). Because of its specialist focus on blogs, Technorati's founder David Sifry has become something of a global spokesperson for blogging and his announcements are watched closely by those interested in the growth of social media.
Technorati, along with other specialist blog search engines, such as Icerocket and Google's own specialist blog version, includes new content on blogs within hours, whereas services like the standard Google, MSN and Yahoo! may take up to a month to reference new entries.
While the overall rate of growth may be easing very slightly (the number of blogs are doubling every six months rather than every five), the number of blogs that are surviving and thriving past the three month mark (which indicates commitment to keep them up on the part of their owners) seems to be increasing.
Almost one in ten blogs is created by spammers however, which can make navigating and monitoring blog searches on issues or brand names more difficult. However, with a blog being created every second or so the genuine content still outpaces and outclasses the spammers and fake bloggers.
Will you mash-up my trailer?
With the pace of innovation on the web you can't afford to be caught napping when it comes to new marketing opportunities. Hollywood movie promoters have not been slow to realise the potential of the massive audiences and mash-up (re-editing/re-mixing) trend that has shot YouTube to prominence online (see last week's Week on the Web column).
Seeing just how quickly films like BrokeBack Mountain has their trailers spoofed, the marketing team behind Anotonio Banderas's dance movie Take the Lead have been actively encouraging people to make mash-ups of the trailer and re-mix music on the film's own website. [Take a look at the Addictive TV remix - brilliant.]