Sunday, 6 May 2007

Sifting through the bog of blogs

I was reading an interesting post on PR blogger regarding the proliferation of blogs and the question how many of them are actually relevant. Although Technorati are tracking 70 million blogs at the moment, only 15.5 million of these have been touched in the last 3 months. So, first lesson, you can't trust the figures.

The author posits various reasons as to why people DON'T blog, in contrast to the constant speculation we see about why people DO. One major factor (and I think this applies to me) relates to human narcissim. I'm not shy (ask anyone) but I don't think I'm so great that the world will want to read about what I have got up to. To be honest, if I wasn't doing this blog for academic purposes, I probably wouldn't be doing it all (that's not to say I haven't learned anything, or had fun, Derek!). And if I was doing it, it would probably go something like this:

"I went out and got hammered the other night. I left my shoe in the taxi. One of the girls from work met a guy who had a very nice stomach. We couldn't remember his name so we just called him 'Hot Stomach Guy'.
Stayed in last night, had a content analysis to do. Watched a bit of the Mighty Boosh, then fell asleep... etc."
(Disclaimer: These entries are based on fictional events and may not necessarily have happened.)
I mean, WHO WOULD WANT TO READ THAT? It's not that my life isn't fun, I have a great time being me but I have no reason to think that other people feel the same. I guess it's one of those 'you had to be there to appreciate it' situations.

Another problem I've come across is the time factor. Some people (not really me) actually have stuff going on, like careers and family and stuff and just simply would not have the time to sit down and document their thoughts for the world and his missus to read. I don't have a career or a family, just a Masters degree to finish and a social life and even I have struggled to find the spare time to sit down and write something that is actually worthwhile reading (which is still debatable). It all sounded so simple a few months ago, like it would be easy marks for the module. Post once a week? Yeah, that's nae bother. Post something relevent and interesting about PR? Er...

In defence of my blog, I have actually enjoyed maintaining it and it's opened my eyes to an unknown world of conversations, like a blogging Narnia but without the lions and witches and James MacAvoy dressed as a faun. Not only this but it's given me a whole new level of confidence about the techy-side of things. I'm still not great but I'm better than I was.
Summing up then, there is no denying that Web 2.0 has opened up a veritable wardrobe full of exciting new opportunities for the PR industry. But as many, such as Stuart Bruce, have pointed out, what is happening is an evolution, not a revolution. Tools such as blogging have simply facilitated its functions. Activities such as stakeholder engagement, environment scanning and that all-important two way-communications function, are things that PR should always have been practicising; PR 2.0 just makes it that much easier. We should be concentrating efforts on how to best incorporate these tools into daily practice so that they become the norm. So, there is no need to throw up ou hands in despair and start all over again.

Yes, I believe I will look upon my days a blogger (under coercion) with fondness.

1 comment:

Deborah Findlay said...

I'll read your blog, to be fair tho the friend / flatmate tha you will no doubt be talking about on several occasioins will in fact be ME!!

Anyhow... i am in fact sitting in your bedroom doing this and i am slightly loosing the will to live! Oh and I think we should dedicate our summer to going out at least 4 nights a week meeting new friends without girlfriends.

See it is because of statements like that no one would want to read our blogs if they weren't about PR and Technology and to be fair not many people even want to read those blogs.

I wish there was more hours in the day, not becasue i want to blog but because I WANT TO HAVE A LIFE!! Please someone tell us where you social bloggers find the time? and if you have any spare hours going can you please pass them my way.

Enjoy the Mighty Boosh - we shall find the Stirling version again