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Are Bloggers Really Influencers? More Thoughts

May 4, 2008

A few more thoughts on the influence issue, part one is here. Once again, I’m exploring this from the consumer’s point of view based on how I surf and am affected (or not) by what the blogs I read say.

Case Study 4: Podfire Soft Launch

The Podfire soft launch got pretty good coverage on I think that night and the day following, easily 3-4 of the top then most read posts were on blog coverage of the Podfire launch. One thing about influence and popularity is network effects.

One person talking about it positively on is very different from five people talking positively about it. Again pulling in the “people like me vs bloggers” debate into the picture, I’m thinking someone who knows some or all of the five people talking about it (or any other topic) will probably feel a compelling reason to at least check it out.

Will it lead to the complete viewing of a video? Will they be repeat viewers? I don’t know, but by that stage, the product has to speak for itself. But leading them to click is the first step.

It’s Not About Reach Or Circulation

I read a comment somewhere ridiculing the buzz of the Podfire launch saying some people didn’t hear about it. Completely missing the point. I’m always asked in school whether I saw an article in the newspapers, or a good/bad advertisement on tv last night, and the answer is usually no. So…. people didn’t hear about it via print or tv either and therefore it’s useless?

The important thing for Podfire (and how blogs should be approached), is to try to reach the immediate community (small as they may be) and work from there. It’s targeted as opposed to the shotgun approach.

Get Help!

Su Yuen has a Facebook application called Get Help. It allows users to post out a question and get replies back from friends, acquaintances or maybe strangers. Again, the idea of influence seems relative. Anyone can help on the app, to varying degrees of influence. Would you discount a brilliant idea via Get Help just because a person who replied is a stranger?

Even “Weak” Links/Influencers Play A part

Case Study 1: Camera Buying
When I was deciding which dslr to get, Ingrid recommended a friend to of hers to help me out. I didn’t have any idea who that friend was prior to this, but I did continually go back and ask her what she thought of product A over product B, and bought the final camera based on that advice. Could I have made my decision by reading a professional photographer’s review? Sure. But the fact that I could interact with this person and listen to firsthand experiences made a difference to me. It just happens in this case she isn’t a blogger. But… what if she was?

Case Study 2: Iron Man
Twitter has been alight with raving, positive Iron Man reviews. I’m reading about people from all over the world (majority of whom I’ve never even met) saying how good it is. The Straits Times gave it three stars. After watching the show, I’m glad I didn’t listen to an “expert” reviewer, because anyone who’s watched the show will know it’s not deserving of three stars. Would you like to listen to an “expert” reviewer and forgo the show? (Assuming three stars is your threshold for “not watching”)

Ultimately this issue is still a tough one to tackle. My point here is not to say bloggers are the influencers, but that pointing to the various research without considering the intricacies of it is probably a bad idea. We know about the Long Tail (The ants have megaphones) and about the Wisdom of Crowds and crowdsourcing, and blogging fits squarely into the realm of these phenomena.


Follow Up: Ogilvy’s Open Room – Too Harsh On The Companies?

April 28, 2008

Going through the name cards I exchanged from tonight’s event, I count four from Ogilvy, one from SMU and Nadia’s. (Note: no companies)

Looking around the blogosphere on, there are four posts from Jean, Ian, Ridz and Plaktoz (for now). Now I don’t mean to go back to flogging a dead horse, but there is little to no brand coverage. The blog posts are either on the fellow bloggers they met, or the stuff in the goodie bags.

I don’t know about you, but I think there are bigger and better products to get people excited about and posting images (and generating media about) than collaterals in goodie bags.

I don’t mean to be critical or harsh on companies. But I think if you’re paying money to engage an agency to do your PR/marketing/advertising/whatever, and they do something like this (certainly with people like John Bell and Brian and Tania who know what they’re doing), then you really need to make the most out of it and bring some value back to the office.

Do You Miss Chat? Facebook May Have The Answer.

April 7, 2008

Brian Solis over at (who is one of my new March subscriptions) posted an article on Facebook adding a new chat feature, with a link to the Facebook blog telling users about the new feature.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available on my Facebook yet, perhaps they’re starting with North America. Nonetheless, I’m excited to start using it.

My first reaction: great! I already think Twitter is so powerful because it almost emulates that “water cooler” or “chatroom” function that the internet used to have (I do miss the chat rooms because MSN is usually just one-to-one) and, a community-focused aggregator already has a chat function on the page as well. It’s almost like we’ve come full circle back to the era of chat.

The second reaction: I’m assuming that you have to remain logged in on Facebook to use the chat and see who’s online. This leads to longer time on the Facebook site, presumably more exposure to the increasing number of Facebook ads, and a way to combat Facebook Fatigue?

What do you think?

Adventures In Social Media #3

March 13, 2008

I’m trying to get through the local (Singaporean) “friendlies” first, so the third person to be featured in “Adventures In Social Media” is Claudia from Claud Talking.

I can’t remember how I actually got to find her blog but I’ve been impressed by the usage of social media for sharing information, word of mouth and gathering feedback. All in all, a good change from the usual Singaporean Meepok blog.

On top of that, I’ve discovered via her, which I really enjoy using. I’d recommend that site to anyone who blogs locally too.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out #2 (Shi Heng Cheong) and #1 (Derrick Kwa). Also if you liked it, do go to and pong me.