Posts Tagged ‘jeremiah owyang’

Are Bloggers Really Influencers?

May 4, 2008

The topic of “influence” has appeared a number of times, generated out of the “Why social media struggles in Singapore” post. I was writing that post from the corporation’s point of view, and questioning whether a certain factor (size) may be a factor that has hindered social media’s growth.

But let’s look at this from the point of view of the consumers: Are we really influenced by bloggers?

What The Research Says

Forrester\'s Research

Edelman Research

Result summary: People trust “people like themselves” the most, an “bloggers” the least. Okay wait, before you stop reading this right now and say “Okay, let’s cancel our blogger relations initiative”, read on.

Are Bloggers Really Trusted The Least?
When I saw the findings, my first thought was “But, what if a blogger is someone like me?”. This is something lacking in the research, and is brought up by Jason Mical and Jeremiah in the comments:

[By Jason]I believe about marketing and the direction it’s going in the digital space, and you have a proven record of posting insightful things that I find useful in thinking about this as well. So I would classify you as ’someone with my interests’ before I would classify you as a blogger in this regard.

[By Jeremiah]I agree, I wish I had more insight to how the questions about “do you trust blogs” were done. We need to see the context, as it could be broken down to:

“do you trust bloggers with similar opinions, that you read frequently”

or

“do you trust random blogs you stumble across”

Perhaps the questions could even be posed a different way: “do you trust the opinions of bloggers?”

I don’t think the lines between “people like me” and bloggers are as far apart as the research shows. And I definitely do not think the results are as disparate as the research claims.

I have a couple of case studies I thought of off the top of my head, tell me if they make sense to you, and keep in mind this is written from the point of view of a consumer.

Case Study 1: Xiaxue
I don’t read her, definitely don’t identify with her, to me she’s a “blogger”. But how about the 20 thousand people who read her blog daily? Does she have no influence over them? From the amount of comments generated in her defense whenever someone slams her, I’d say she has considerable influence over them.

Case Study 2: Kenny Sia
I had the privilege of meeting Kenny at the IDC Conference and he blogged about it, linking me. That one post generated almost 1,500 traffic to my blog, the next closest being tomorrow.sg with about 500. I’m not sure how you want to classify tomorrow.sg, but looking at the data, clearly 1,500 people think Kenny is not “just a blogger” but someone who influences them and makes them think “I identify with Kenny, he thinks Daryl is worth putting a link to, so that might probably be interesting to me too”, and hence the clicks. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s definitely my personal thought process when browsing blogs.

Case Study 3: FriendFeed
FriendFeed is growing in popularity in North America. The level of activity after it opened from beta is exponentially higher than the level of activity before. Let’s look at the other categories from the research. Review on tv? Review on retailer site? I don’t think so.

Friendfeed was spread via word of mouth online from people who follow the early adopters and advocates like Louis Gray. Certainly I don’t know Louis personally (though we’re mutual readers of each others’ blog), but neither is he some anonymous blogger online. He’s someone I know covers a great niche in the social media space on rss aggregation, and I’m interested in all things social media, hence I definitely trust and believe his opinions. In fact I also signed up for LinkRiver, AssetBar and Yokway based on his recommendations. Admittedly I only use LinkRiver with any frequency, but I think that’s attributed to the product rather than the medium (Louis).

This post has gone on a little longer than I thought it would and I have a few more thoughts on reach as well as “weak” links or influences which I’ll try to post this evening. In the meantime, what do you think? As clear cut as the research suggests? Or are there intricacies at work that are unexplored? Do you classify bloggers in the same category as “people like me”? Or are they clear and distinctly separated?

Blogs I’m Subscribed To: February

March 6, 2008

I subscribe to so many new blogs a day it’s crazy. On one hand I feel like I should stick to just a few, on the other there is so much good material out there, it seems like I’m never following enough.

So I decided to come up with an experiment:

  • Put all new blogs in a monthly folder on Google Reader
  • Star great posts from the respective bloggers
  • Take a look at the end of the month who’s worth keeping (I mean if they haven’t gotten a single star post in 30 days, I probably don’t need to subscribe to them)

The result? About 30 blogs stayed on my subscription list, of particular mention (in no particular order):

  • Adam Stiles (of LinkRiver) – I’m admittedly not using LinkRiver a whole lot these days, but I do still follow what Adam has to say on his blog. I actually think LinkRiver has good functions, but just needs a little bit more critical mass.
  • CC Chapman – Heard of CC for awhile from Six Pounds of sound, but a recent post which highlighted CC on Second Life talking to some students, as well as a great musical pick by bill last month really made me sit up and take notice. The man takes great pictures too.
  • Claud Talking – I think I was randomly searching Tweetscan for “Singapore” and came across Claud. It’s nice to see a local blog know and “get” social media, without just being a Meepok blog.
  • Tony Hung @ Deep Jive Interests – I probably first picked up this post on Twitter from Tony, and since then have been following him both on Twitter as well as FriendFeed.
  • Tiffany Monhollon @ Personal PR – I first found Personal PR by a post on 27 secrets to linking like a master networker and then later came across 5 comments not to post on blogs which came in very useful for a project of mine. Instant subscription.
  • Rex Hammond @ RexblogTwitter is something you’ll never understand, so stop trying. ‘Nuff said.
  • Chris Clarke @ Student PR – I can’t even pick out one single post that’s more deserving of attention than other posts. Read everything.
  • Frederic @ The Last Podcast – Picked up for How I Use FriendFeed, been following via RSS and FriendFeed ever since.
  • Jeremiah Owyang – A lot of stuff flies over my head because I’m not a practitioner like he is. But there’s still a load of good stuff in there and he does try to write for the newbies as well, so credit there.

I’m following most (if not all) of these bloggers in Twitter as well, look for them via my Twitter page if you like. (And follow me too!)

More blogs to share? Drop your URL and/or RSS feed into the comments below. I’m always on the lookout for new, interesting and educational stuff to read, absorb and most importantly, share.