Blog Post

Blogging as branding

Still searching for an identity, MSNBC goes back to its roots with an emphasis on interactive. The network has gone blog-crazy, seemingly adding a new title whenever the thought strikes. At last count they’re up to nine, including five in their Bloggers Cafe. The result is an infusion of personality, extending Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams’ roles beyond the TV screen (ok, Joe Scarborough, too, although the name Congressman Joe pales next to Hardblogger, Bloggerman and Sidebar) while giving behind-the-scene or secondary characters some extra oomph and the audience more people with whom to connect.
At the same time, the blogs are meaty enough to spread MSNBC’s brand around the net in the form of links and referernces. (Providing RSS feeds was a vital step.) For election coverage, the interactive element comes into play not only with comments to the anchor blogs but with a Citizen Journalists’ blog featuring comments and pictures. Each positive interaction on MSNBC.com provides a human link to MSNBC and increases the likelihood that, just as was hoped at the beginning, the network and the net will feed off each other.