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  • http://www.medianama.com Nikhil Pahwa

    Karthik:

    I quite like your usage of the term “peer to peer” in the context of blogs. So we’re not peer-to-peer, that’s for sure, though direct interactions with a significant number of industry executives does give us something of an insiders view. Some of the points you’ve mentioned made me take a step back and look at what we’re doing, and why we’re doing certain things.

    It does boil down to your definition of a blog, and perhaps the type of influencer you’re looking to target. For us, a blog is just a platform – a content management system. Most of our content is original, and we follow journalistic principles…and that’s true of ContentSutra and VCCircle as well, because they’re also being run by journalists. For us at MediaNama, this was the first earnings season that we planned out in advance…so we are getting more organized. I’d rather use the term Micro Publishing/Niche Publishing. We’re a trade media publication, albeit an opinionated one.

    The other key thing you mentioned is “motivation” to cover news. Have to admit that in our case, it’s not just business – there is a certain sense of evangelism when it comes to poorly reported segments like Indic languages and location based services. There is a sense of introspection – open criticism of the industry that reads us. There is a mix of both individual experience and business focus based on what we perceive to be the needs of our reader base, as any trade media publication does. It’s not quite outside-looking-in.

    I guess what you have to look at is that if the opinion is critical – as some of us often are – does it really help the brand?

    On a side note, quite glad to read a post like this from you — having largely been subjected to mass mailing from PR IT-ITES lists :)

  • http://www.beastoftraal.com/ Karthik S

    Nikhil,

    Completely agree to your point of view. Micro-publishers such as Medianama, VCCircle and ContentSutra are very, very necessary so that there’s an other side to advertising-driven mainstream press. I read these sites more for the opinion and less for the reporting – that’s what really makes the difference in this ‘have-opinion-will-shout’ generation.

    When I said ‘motivation’, I included, among other things, the fact that an online publication like Medianama, by nature, will be interested to cover things that interest it/ fall within its self-defined scope. The objective is, after all, to inform your readers.

    So the use of the phrase, ‘organized blogging’, which perhaps denotes that a blog is being maintained after adequate deliberations on the content, audience and periodicity.

    Compared to that, an individual blogger doesn’t (ideally) write for the sake of his/ her audience – he may not even have defined an audience (if you ignore the fact that he/ she may be writing on one specific topic, which limits and defines his/ her audience automatically) to reach out to. That way, his blog becomes his stream of thoughts – is there a better place for a brand than the thoughts of a person? More so, if the person has a decent following!

    But things get difficult here, since we need to be extra careful while choosing the blogs for our clients. We cannot afford to annoy such bloggers who, while having no specific obligation or interest to ‘cover’ a client of ours, may also not hesitate to rip our clients apart – for a right/ wrong reason. So, our homework is really critical here.

    Having said that, I should concede that I was referring to cases (without the client names, of course) where we engaged with bloggers on behalf of a FMCG’ish/ massy/ personal technology products. And, we were looking for user perspectives from bloggers.

  • Nitin Thakur

    K

    You started on a tremendous note. Unfortunately it boiled down to a simplistic conclusion. You enagage with a blogger if he is writing as a hobby, and not-for-profits and preferably if he is solo.

    What would happen if this hobbyst gets popular and starts accepting ads and syndicated stuff. Does he get off the list now? Since he is making money and probably writing with more seriousness. Does he go off the list? Now that is conuter – intutive.

    What if he does not have time to continue writing as often, but to respect his online follows, adds a couple of like-minded writers to contribute to his already popluar blog.

    I think the need is to come up with a much sounder criteria to define popular bloggers to engage with!!! Hope to see another post from you once you have thought thru this….

  • http://www.beastoftraal.com/ Karthik S

    Excellent points to ponder – thanks Nitin. Will definitely think this over.

  • http://spartanvikas.wordpress.com Sri Vikas

    try to engage your clients directly with the audience. blogs, forums and all that jazz are just tools. first find out how you will build a relationship then work out the objectives and then use tech tools to execute the strategies.

    when you do a press release make sure it will be picked by your audience content writers. the press release should not be like the traditional one . instead add short videos to it. make the pr seo friendly .

    but remember, any social media activity you get into , try to marry it with word-of-mouth/viral ideas for digital brand activation.

    found you via linked . how can i connect with you? my id : spartanvikas1983@gmail.com

  • Karthik S

    Thanks for the comment Sri Vikas.

    I agree with you on blogs/ forums etc being tools – have done enough posts on that topic in this blog too.

    This post was specifically on the dilemma of selecting bloggers for engagement and the criteria for such selection.

    Also, I do not agree with you when you say that *any* social media activity needs to have a word-of-mouth/ viral element to it. There are many activities that we do for our clients that are meant to address just those targets – for instance, an interview opportunity with just one blogger. If it spreads (say people RT it on twitter), good enough. Else, our objective was to impress that blogger alone.

  • http://www.medianama.com Nikhil Pahwa

    Hmm…from what I gather -it’s tough choice for you. You’re saying that a mention from a peer to peer blogger is more valuable because it appears authentic, and yet there’s the issue of either a large enough following, or the unpredictability of a reaction.

    Fair enough. What beats me, is an initiative by one particular handset manufacturer to pay bloggers for writing favorable reviews of their handsets. This was being handled by their marketing department. They didn’t approach us, thankfully for them, but I heard about it from a few people. On hindsight, I should have written about it, without mentioning the brand. One negative reaction can be more viral than a hundred positive ones. It’s a ridiculous risk to take, imho.

    I have an idea for a social media press release, can share on email if you want. We face significant issues with the PRs that we get, primarily because we never copypaste, and we have significant prior knowledge of the companies we cover. So we regularly have to request for more inputs, and takes a lot of time. I’d mentioned of the issues in a PRCAI meeting I’d spoken at.