As I checked my blog stats today, I realised that there was a spike in my traffic. Upon further investigation, I realised one of my previous posts “Who should not blog” was submitted by a fellow blogger to a popular bulletin for Singapore bloggers, Tomorrow.sg
While I was happy to know that the blog post has resulted in the spike in traffic, what also resulted was a thread of comments following the entry, where some contributors didn’t agree with my article.
The contents of some of these comments were not so friendly, in my opinion, remarking that the article “makes no sense.” and that “Dull people should not blog – starting with him.” Some of the comments also flowed to my blog.
Interestingly, the contents of the article were my personal summary of what I have learnt though some for the best selling books about business blogging, like Naked Conversations, The Corporate Blogging Book, and Blogging for Business. When I read these books, I didn’t have the same remarks for the authors of these books.
The first commenter on that post also did not have any remarks of concern. In fact, he added to the article, citing three more groups of people who should not blog.
So, what went wrong?
Tomorrow.sg runs on a bulletin system where individuals recommend interesting or debatable articles they find on the Internet, so fellow readers can contribute their comments. Unfortunately, the readers of the blog come from a very general audience – I guess the only commonalities among a huge proportion of the readers is that they appreciate satirical humour (the Singapore style) and they are aware of the Singapore blogosphere.
When the article “Who should not blog” was posted there, it was no wonder many took a stance opposing my case. The majority of blogs are personal online journals. Such blogs contain mainly ramblings of an individual, mixed with localized humor.
So my story about “Who should not blog”, in that context, was interpreted as “Who should not talk”. When I said “dull people should not blog”, what was read was “dull people should not talk” – which is obviously “insane”!
The issue lies is the the context in which the article is presented.
While I did my best to explain my perspective in a reply comment,
The theme of this blog is about business blogging and blog marketing, thus the articles are written in the perspective of such.
The majority of the blogs in the world are personal online journals which contain ramblings or humorous anecdotes from an individual, and blogs have indeed originated from such.
Definitely, â€œbloggingâ€ in the sense of personal online journals are for anybody who wishes to do so, and it is a popular form of self expression today.
However, setting up, maintaining and marketing a corporate blog involves an investment of time, money and other resources. Hence, thought needs to put in if that investment would be worthwhile and if blogging is indeed suitable for that business or individual.
… I learned two powerful lessons – one about writing and expressions, and one about marketing.
In writing – the context is just as important as the content.
In the Internet marketing world, they say “content is king”. Content brings you the traffic, and content gives you the credibility. However, without understanding the context, it is easy to misunderstand the content.
Take Liz’s SOB for a start. We are all aware what the acronym means to most people. In the context of an Internet Relay Chat (IRC), it is definitely not something you want to be called! However, if you bring this popular acronym to this area of the blogosphere, you find bloggers congratulating each other on becoming SOBs!
In the context of search marketing, “web design” probably equates more to tweaking the technical aspects of a page, but if you talk to a design firm, they will relate the same term to graphics, layout and animation.
I suppose I didn’t establish my context well in the article that I wrote, and this led to the misunderstanding.
In marketing – talking to the right target audience is critical.
As they say, “if you try to target a product for everybody, you will end up targeting for nobody”. Every marketing project needs to be targeted at its proper customer segment. Different people have different needs, have gone though a different levels of education, are exposed to different living conditions… and the list goes on.
If you attempt to market a digital camera to patients in a hospital, there is a possibility that one could take it offensively and say “Camera for what? Take picture to put in front of my coffin is it? Are you cursing me to my death?“.
Bring that same camera to the IT Show 2007, and camera enthusiasts would be gleaming over it!
Sell Rolex watches to teenagers, and they would probably say “Crazy! With that money, I’d rather buy a simple watch, and spend the rest on a Playstation and an supply of games to last me for 5 years!“.
Still, we see senior executives spending thousands on a gold watch.
That in mind, perhaps having my article recommended at Tomorrow.sg might not have been a good idea afterall. While the article has no intention to market anything, the intended audience is a terrible misfit!
Content is king, and context is the palace
Every mistake should only be made once. The next time you write an article, be sure to establish the context, and be sure that you are talking to the right people!
For the readers coming over from Tomorrow.sg, I hope I have put my point more clearly with the comment responses in the post, as well as this post. Further discussion is welcome, and the rules are only to stay relevant and be nice. 🙂