Friday, November 28, 2008

why do we have blogger events?

it was gonna happen sooner or later, but i think people might be starting to get sick of reading about blogger events, or at least start making fun of them. -)

but Shelly does make a very important crtique about the state of the way social media is being engaged in Singapore.

if you're wondering what this means to the PR practitioner, new social marketer, the digital advertiser, blogger or all-in-one communications extraordinaire, have a read and we can always discuss -)

Singapore's social media landscape background: agencies and corporations in Singapore probably started experimenting with blogger engagement in early 2006. i remember Fleishman Hillard's LG Blogger seeding programme quite well. Seed bloggers with LG Shine phones, no strings attached and invite them to write an honest review.

2007, i joined Ogilvy Singapore's Digital Influence practice, and promptly got started connecting and engaging with some of Singapore's bloggers. Other agencies and marketing managers also started their own engagement programmes, and blogger events became the 'standard' way of engaging bloggers.

engagement is one thing. what about community building? what about building the relationship between brand and blogger?

i guess these are the signs of Singapore's blogosphere maturing. as communications practitioners, we should be ready to meet the present and future needs of communications.

what are such future needs?

1. community building / involvement
- whether you like it or not, the net has brought us closer together. some bloggers have chosen to maintain their privacy, let's respect that. but there is also a growing community of well.. communities. Ping.SG, Singapore Plurkers, fans of local bands, political advocates, social media enthusiasts, photography groups, driving enthusiasts, food reviewers, travel writers, philanthropic bloggers, technopreneurs.. etc.

is your BRAND getting involved?
and as a blogger, what is your PASSION?

2. the cutting edge of communications
- i'm never satisfied with doing what everyone else is doing. call it divine discontent. if you look right, i look left. and because i've always been critical of the media, i decided to study about it in university, and found myself working a job in the media industry.

- the net has given everyone a voice, but some voices are louder than others. but the net has also connected people, and made it easier to communicate, spread information, organise events, and where i find a lot of value, bringing people together.

- this means, i meet like-minded people who talk about social media, who see it as more than just events, and coverage, but the walking together of owning your own community. not that you're the leader, but you're a part of. in church, we talk about taking ownership of one's ministry, or responsibility. it's the same thing, taking ownership of your community, is to work to build, improve, and make each community you're a part of, the best that it can be.

- having said that, we have to be on the cutting edge, laying a good foundation that "social media" has helped empower her users, and not merely be a house of cards or dot.com bubble 2.0

3. Your audience matures
- there's only so much longer before people become more media literate. my parent's generation didn't necessarily grow up with a television

- i grew up with the television, and to a certain extent, the Internet.

- there's a whole generation that is now growing up with mobile broadband Internet. if i think i'm so great with my suite of web2.0 tools, i cannot begin to imagine what we'll see in the future.

- as hardware improves, so will software, so will communications, so will how we make use of technology

- growing up in a mediated environment might naturally make us more cynical and skeptical of what the mass mediums put out. today's underground is tomorrow's mainstream. people may find it harder and harder to believe something they've read, watched or heard. they need to make their own truths, and to believe in something, means they have to publish it themselves.

- i forsee an explosion of content producers in less than five years, as today's 14 year olds develop tomorrow's new web platform.

- as a communicator, will you mature along with your audience?

22 comments:

Jbarks said...

Dude, you need to do something about your sidebar; it's about 20x as long as your post hahahaha

Shelly said...

Hey man, sorry to be a bit anal retentive but you missed out an "i" in the word "critique" in the 2nd paragraph.

The downside of blogging – no editors/gatekeepers. *LOL*

It does seem that marketing outreach via bloggers favors quantity over quality. Numbers (blog hits, subscriptions, etc) seem to rule the game more than anything else.

Rinn said...

gosh! your sidebar.

Farinelli said...

@Shelly Great point there, and i think it's because companies still want to look to tangible evidence to warrant their investment of resources in... Whatever they do. And (brian will remember that we discussed this half to death at SMB4) these numbers, as arbitrary as some of us feel they are, are the only things that companies can base their decisions on. Everyone's still wondering what the optimal metrics system is for web 2.0 and social media. Until then, page hits and site visits are the best measures available.

brian koh said...

@Jbarks: hahaha, duly noted.. maybe it's time for a new template..

@Shelly: hahaha, missing an "i" is probably the least of the spelling and grammar mistakes i have. but you're right, no editor.. and im not even using spellchecker!

- but some very professional blogs have an editorial team and all that, adapting the models of traditional publications.

@rinn thanks for stopping by! hahaha, yeah.. it's a bit much huh? but i like to think it aids with navigation.

@Farinelli true. the comfort zone for metrics is always readership and numbers, but numbers always lie, and sometimes they don't really tell you what you really want to know.

Jbarks said...

Can I interest you in Wordpress? :D

Ivan Chew said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Brian. "Blogger Events" are about community-building. That's what I believe too. Certainly, there's an element of marketing and publicity when we try to engage bloggers. But to see events for bloggers being limited to those objectives, is myopic.

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