Many bloggers, cheaply swayed by shrewd marketers, are losing it

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Blogs are supposed to be the voice of the independent. They are supposed to be the tools of free speech. They should be places to share information, research data, and even amusing prose. NATION MEDIA GROUP

A decade ago, there were less than 20 bloggers in East Africa. None of them used their real names, preferring to use strange pseudonyms.

And through those means, they emerged as bold purveyors of independent and frequent content. Today, blogging is supposed to be at an all-time high with hundreds of entrants into that sphere.

But, alas! Corporate organisations are now using bloggers and their blogs as clearing houses for press releases. Today’s bloggers seem more focused on products and services, and targeted at a very niche public.

There is nothing wrong with that, except that it is becoming the mainstream voice of bloggers. Let us face it. Blogs have become boring to read. They are no longer what they used to be. What went wrong?

In every blogger’s mail box is a host of press releases from different agencies and marketing departments of corporate companies, announcing different products and services.

Many bloggers wake up to this each morning, and the question is which press releases end up as blog posts. Every ounce of creativity it once took to craft blog posts is now lost.

If you scour through technology blogs today, it is more or less the same theme and content. Some of them look as if all they did was copy and paste the press releases.

In many of the technology blogs, it is about mobile operators, mobile handsets, newly released tablets and hardware, and different product variations. The only variation is the more angry blogs that seem cobbled together by dejected bloggers with axes to grind.

Let me put it in black and white. Many bloggers have been compromised. Flashy new gadgets, subsidised bandwidth, a couple of freebies, fancy events with free food and drink will get them to sing whatever song the corporate institutions want them to sing.

At that point, they lose all objectivity and fall into the pockets of agencies or companies. Complaining about lacklustre products or services gets you barred from the pool of invitations to events.

We would imagine that the price it would take to get a blogger to toe the marketers’ line would be much higher, but it seems a new device is adequate enough to make them lose objectivity.

In the end, blogs do not have anything worth reading except whatever is regurgitated from marketing agencies and communications officers. This further exposes blogs to flawed or biased data.

Data should be plainly honest. There is no such thing as a hopeful number. There is the real number and the made up number. Many bloggers are being fed the latter.

With flawed data, they easily draw false conclusions, which then become the basis for spreading falsehoods.

Blogs are supposed to be the voice of the independent. They are supposed to be the tools of free speech. They should be places to share information, research data, and even amusing prose.

They are supposed to point out the flaws in our society that mainstream media cannot address. But now blogs are themselves badly flawed.

Blogs are being used for personal vendettas and, in many cases, bloggers get paid to destroy the reputation of other individuals.

Underground blogs are even less objective because their agenda is almost publicly available if you see who they are smearing. This being an election period, blogs will be used for dirty campaign tricks and smear tactics.

So are blogs dying or being killed? Today’s blogs are self-destructing. Bloggers need to re-evaluate their position in society and adjust to what they should be doing.

Making a living off blogging is a tough thing, but it is not impossible. It takes just more effort than many are applying.

http://www.nation.co.ke/Tech/Many-bloggers-are-losing-it–/-/1017288/1629798/-/ps1415z/-/index.html

 

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One comment on “Many bloggers, cheaply swayed by shrewd marketers, are losing it

  1. have just completed reading that article. to be honest the material is a bit shallow and too generalised for any meaningful discussion

    but wha’ the ‘eck, i gots enough turkey in me to power thru’ three weeks

    the article can be described as having two segments and it has some interesting contradictions and lack of coherence

    starting with the first segment, will just tackle a few so that i leave the turkey energy for another day

    for example
    ==

    But, alas! Corporate organisations are now using bloggers and their blogs as clearing houses for press releases.

    ==
    The statement is correct, corporations have since late 90’s incorporated in their strategy, use of social media to market their products and using popular sites and blogs is an attractive option. my understanding is that the writer wants “independent” blogs (i.e those not owned by the corporations) not to be used for marketing purposes. well that is neither here nor there, but the next statement then totally confounds

    ==

    Today’s bloggers seem more focused on products and services, and targeted at a very niche public.

    ==
    if the said bloggers have already identified a niche market, then by all means they have a right / interest to specifically present and discuss these products for that specific target group. who else would be better qualified to do that? would he rather that someone that completely doesn’t know the product should do the marketing and discussion?

    the writer proceeds to conclude, this segment

    ==

    There is nothing wrong with that, except that it is becoming the mainstream voice of bloggers. Let us face it. Blogs have become boring to read. They are no longer what they used to be. What went wrong?

    ==
    from that statement it would appear that the writer is participating in the wrong blogs. alternatively he can join those blogs and inject new life into them.

    but guess what. all of what i’ve written above is meaningless rhetoric (classic BS as it were) just as much as that of the author of that piece is.

    the real thrust of that article is in the segment and addresses the growing fear and concern for mainstream media and their paymasters that social media is allowing for far more critical, incisive and informative presentation of events and facts to the masses, that previously was controlled by mainstream media and at the behest of their masters.

    its laughable that the DN can publish from this author the following text below (parapharased)

    you can replace blog in that text below with certain mainstream media and its editorial staff to get the full import of the kind of campaign they have waged against a certain candidate

    and now that through the social media we are able to counter all the propaganda and falsehoods from status quo leadership, their corrupt media and some handful unscrupulous law enforcement by presenting credible and verifiable facts, some hirelings are first to cry foul

    ==
    …. whatever is regurgitated from marketing agencies and communications officers. This further exposes blogs to flawed or biased data. (this is how mainstream media has been operating through guys like alfred mutua and his lackeys)

    Data should be plainly honest. There is no such thing as a hopeful number. There is the real number and the made up number. Many bloggers are being fed the latter. (hehehe what are those polls showing G7 popularity if not hopeful ethnic summations)

    With flawed data, they easily draw false conclusions, which then become the basis for spreading falsehoods. (duh!)


    …yada yada …..

    Blogs are being used for personal vendettas and, in many cases, bloggers get paid to destroy the reputation of other individuals.

    Underground blogs are even less objective because their agenda is almost publicly available if you see who they are smearing. This being an election period, blogs will be used for dirty campaign tricks and smear tactics.
    ==

    (this i find to be false and a mischaracterization of roles. blogs are known to be owned by individuals and are therefore operated at the whims of the owners. most people accept that for a fact. and take everything with enough dose of salt. in contrast mainstream media are supposed to have a higher ethic standard and some are even funded by the public but nevertheless all are expected to adhere to higher codes of conduct, be objective and factual and yet have engaged in some of the most vile, targeted and sustained vendetta and propaganda against select individuals. this is a classic reversal of roles we have become accustomed to in this kibaki regime and perfectly fits in with stories of how someone reports an ongoing burglary to the police and they ask him to go back and catch the thieves then call them. bottomline and fact of the matter is that if mainstream media were doing their job right, blogs would be nothing but gossip columns. as it were, roles have been effectively transposed or reversed.

    in brief this is the beginning of damage control strategies from certain ICC indictees and misc presidential wannabe’s and/or their supporters by using their characteristic trademark of a smear campaign against those not supporting their weird quest for power, thus labeling “bloggers” as misguided and / or misinformed. )

    …. aaiiishhh let me save turkey energy for other battles ….

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