Trapping the power of the blogosphere

The final panel of the AlwaysOn conference talked about harnessing the power of the blogosphere. Time Inc, Technorati, Dan Gillmor, ThinkEquity, Forbes, Mayfield and AlwaysOn were all on the panel. Here are a few notes:

  • Dave Sifry says Technorati is tracking 13.6m blogs, 11 posts a second (1m per day) and adding 110,000 new blogs per day.
  • Dan Gillmor highlighted the London bombings as an excellent, recent example of bottom up media breaking stories in more detail than MSM.
  • Time Inc says it’s ‘very early days for us when it comes to blogging.’ Some of its research revealed that many of its readers don’t know what a blog is.
  • represents 40% of the revenue of Forbes.
  • Dan Gillmor says we need to find a way to sort through all the citizen-generated content (photos, posts) since the one finite commodity is time.
  • Dave Sifry highlighted that one of the benefits of blogging surrounding the London bombings, was not just the news content, but also that bloggers could post messages to their families which they could not contact via their cell phone to say they were ok. It also gave a channel for people to lend their support and sympathy to those involved.
  • Allen Morgan from Mayfield says one benefit of blogging for him is that it has helped him clarify his thinking about his own business. (I personally agree with this).
  • Dan Gillmor says that blogging should be part of the communications strategy of companies to engage with their stakeholders and have conversations with their constituents. ‘You’ll find they probably know more than you thought. You can’t help but come out better as a result of that.’
  • PR should stand for Public Relationships – Dave Sifry quoting Weinberger and Edelman.
  • Ned Desmond of Time Inc says that a number of its publications want to go to a blog format, but its content management system has challenges introducing RSS, trackbacks, comments etc which are standard blog features.
  • Blogging provides a vital feedback loop for companies to listen to what their most passionate customers feel. They would be foolish to ignore that pointed out Allen Morgan from Mayfield.
  • Dan Gillmor reminded us that the value per reader of a small personal blog only read by family and friends is higher than that of even the most popular blogs, and that power should not be ignored.
  • When it comes to journalist shield laws, Dan Gillmor wants it to apply to the act of journalism rather than to journalists (or bloggers) themselves. That might include a blog post.
  • Forbes is launching a blog called ‘Dunce of the Week’ tomorrow to highlight the most foolish comment made about the economy.
  • Dan Gillmor doesn’t think reporters can be ‘objective’ – but believes they should be four things: thorough, accurate, fair and transparent. ‘If we have all of those, I don’t care if you call [an article/journalism] objective or not.’

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