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« PR engagement with bloggers | Main | Is blogging the new PR? »

01 November 2005


Kristen E. Sukalac

While I think blogs offer an interesting opportunity to tap into a giant focus group, there are some aspects that make me wonder if they are oversold as such. Bloggers are a self-selected group. How much do the following adages apply? Birds of a feather flock together. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

How often do people blog about you because they agree with you? Aren't they much more likely to blog because they want to change something about your business?

What about the people who have something important to say but who are not blogging for whatever reason?

Does this approach therefore risk giving very skewed feedback?

Elizabeth Albrycht

Important questions all, Kristen! A good example are all of these blog surveys, many of which are completely unscientific in approach. Constantin Basturea has done a great job of debunking many of them here: http://blog.basturea.com/archives/categories/surveys/

The blogosphere is a place where you can get incredibly valuable direct feedback. But it can also be an echo chamber, and some early research has shown that the format of blogging can actually drive people to more extreme positions (as they are forced to defend themselves from critics). That is why you can't look only to bloggers for information, feedback, etc.

What we have to remember, too, is that we have no control over what happens in the blogosphere, which is very frustrating to organizations who are still trying to control the message. However, just because it can be a wild and wacky place doesn't mean you can ignore it -- far from it!

Communicators need to find a pragmatic balance between all of the tools they use.

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