All we need is a blog and then our customers will once again begin to trust us and buy our products.
Last week over at the Squarespace Blog I wrote about blogs being perceived as the “Silver Bullet” for companies’ troubles. The line of thinking goes that you hear a new technology being hyped up and the media begins to jump onboard then it must work because hype and media can never be wrong. Well then let’s just say that two things are not right with this.
- Blogs aren’t really new at all. Maybe the name is newer than “website”, but this is all they are, websites. You don’t think people were publishing their own websites before MovableType came around?
- The media is hyping up the technology for the wrong reasons.
I will stay away from #1 for right now and focus on #2.
When I say the media hypes up blogs for all the wrong reasons it is because it seems they still don’t understand them. Of course they see them as competition because blogs break news much faster than the larger media outlets. But really that’s like Wal-Mart viewing Mom and Pop stores as competition. In any case one of the most over-hyped type of blogs that I have seen as of late are political blogs.
Some larger media outlets seemed to think that blogs could change the face of politics. This was proven wrong with Dean. Then guess what? It was proven wrong again with Kerry. Blogs don’t really change anything at all sorry to say, though we were sad to hear of the fall out after the election.
A blog isn’t going to change the message of politicians or the platform they stand on. A blog doesn’t change voting patterns in the past and it doesn’t make up for any scandals that may have occurred. On a blog all they can say are the same things that are said in a meet & greet, yet for some reason people tend to think that a blog changes the message and will make it stronger. It doesn’t.
If that’s the case then why would any company be interested in such a thing? We are seeing companies that read some article mention of blogs and how it has made X company more popular and they think it is the magic formula. But it doesn’t always turn out that way.
Blogs help to spread really bad and really good news rather quickly. Mediocre stuff is left to the big media outlets and their bureaucratic publishing processes. A blog isn’t going to magically change the way your customers feel about what you sell. But it can help you guide that change, and it can do it on your timetable.
The real Silver Bullet is the philosophy behind your company. It’s how you treat your customers. It’s the quality of your products and services. That is the Silver Bullet. Blogs just make that bullet shine even brighter.