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Business Week, Blogs, and Business

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Now that blogs are in the cover of Business Week, you can safely say two things – blogs have gone mainstream, and blogs are over. Yup folks given the history of magazine covers, I think this one is gone. Henry Copeland sums it up when he writes, “Yesterday a friend who runs a hedge fund reminded me of the Wall Street maxim — ‘sell when Business Week’s cover says buy.'”

Go to Paul Kedrosky’s site and check out the 1979 Business Week cover ‘The Death of Equities.’ Henry has more, examples. My colleague Damon Darlin, a man wise in the ways of the magazine covers, writes, “I based these predictions on the theory that magazine covers are some of the best indicators of a trend that is ending, because magazine journalists tend to nab trends at the top.” I attest to that. Qwest – September 2000 – lets take over the world, on the cover of Red Herring. I wrote that piece, and you know what happened.

Anyway Business Week cover means that companies will pay attention to blogs, hire consultants who at best are *dumb* in the ways of blogging, spend millions of dollars, make some people rich and eat into the ever shrinking marketing budgets. A backlash, and hype’s over. After which good corporate blogging will continue.

(Big up to Business Week new blog, BlogSpotting. Hope to be there everyday!)

Roy Schestowitz makes an excellent case of why this whole blog thing might be coming to an end. “Attention is spread among more blogs and hence feeds/spiders account for more of the traffic for most blogs. As more users share content and publishing tools become easier to use, pages become less content-rich or genuine. Increased comment spam and compatibility for the rel=’nofollow’ tag attribute discourage involvement. The symptoms can be spotted already.”

22 Responses to “Business Week, Blogs, and Business”

  1. > Increased comment spam and compatibility for the rel=’nofollow’ tag attribute discourage involvement.

    As can be evidenced from the “nofollow” tags in the comments of this article and weblog.

  2. While your conclusion is completely logical, Om, I’m kind of hoping that it’s invalid. Blogs still have vast unused potential, and it ought to be utilized.

    With regard to corporate blogging, though, I wouldn’t say that there’ll definitely be a stage of hype and then a downfall for all but the true blogging core (or maybe I’m reading you incorrectly?). Remember, the PC spread from the workplace to the home; I should hope that blogs are a similarly revolutionary technology and that therefore they’re here to stay.

  3. I think this is a special case where the exact opposite might be true. The reason is simple. Blogs are all about content. People crave content, but they’re extremely discerning because it comes down to a time issue. How much can I read in a day? And with my feed reader, it’s easy to push somebody out of my library if I don’t feel they’re compelling. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again.

    Basically, it’s hard to fake a good blog, because if it’s good, it’s good. You can’t game a blog like you can game Page Rank. And I think in the future, corporate blogs will become more like portals, where people can not only find out what’s going on with the company, but also what’s going on in the company’s space. If you want to build a strong relationship with your customers, what better way to do it then keep them genuinely informed? Sure, companies are going to have a point of view and nobody should fault them for that. But if they continue to share information in a thought provoking way, then they’ll engender a loyalty that we can’t even begin to measure.

    And on that same string, I’d go so far as to say my NetNewsWire is becoming my default browser. I view more webpages in it than anything else. If it only had a little more functionality, I’d probably use it exclusively. Coinicidence?