Nobody Knows What Blogging Is Nor Should They
Most of you have heard of this thing called blogging but that's because you work in areas where blogging is commonplace. However, regular folk, the folks we, in advertising, sell to day in and day out don't have a clue as to what blogging is. At least in England. A recent study among taxi drovers, pub landlords and hairdressers found that 70 percent had never heard of blogging. Most thought the survey was asking about dogging, the practice of watching couples have sex in semi-secluded spaces. Hmm, blogging as a perverted sex fetish. Not exactly what the blog elite and the blogebrity had in mind.
This research confirms the notion we've supported for a long time. Weblogging is just a really easy way to publish a website that, because of the platform, gets easily distributed and picked up by search engines.
And yes, it does fall into the consumer generated media space but let's be honest. It's a website. That's all a blog is. A website that just happens to be easier to publish then a "regular" website. Are we that surprised that most people don't know what a blog is? Should we even care? As long as published content is being read and influencing the intended audiences, it really doesn't matter whether it's a weblog or a hard-coded, old-fashioned website.
We also don't understand or support the need to separate blog search results from "regular" search results. If someone is searching for information on a particular topic, it's irrelevant to them whether this information is contained on a blog or a "regular" website. We already have search segregation for News, Images, Groups, Shopping, etc. Do we really want to ask people to, in the early stage of a search, to make the impossible determination as to whether the information they are seeking in on a blog or on a "regular" website? In marketing, aren't we supposed to be making things easier for people? Insisting that people discern the difference between a blog and a website does have some merit - in terms of examining and exploiting consumer-created media - but not as much as hype would have us.