Well, I am getting down to the end of Gonzo Marketing (book by Chris Locke, aka rageboy), and I must say this has been an eye opening experience when it comes to looking at blogs (and some of the other things I am working on). It is a bit of a tale, but let me tell you what I got out of all of this.
First and foremost, Locke tries to paint the picture of the internet as a sort of great social commune of people sharing interests, creating geocities websites filled with dancing hamsters and talking about organic gardening. He touched just barely on the new at the time idea of weblogs, which we all know now as blogs. He correctly did predict that we would all spend out time talking to each other in little personal interest sites. Everyone is a writer, and editor, and a researcher. We all bring our personal experiences and knowledge to the table, and away we go, filling the web with endless amounts of wonderful, insightful personally slaved over and loved information.
That much, my friends, he got right.
He goes on to attempt to sell this concept to industry as a âgonzoâ? or underground marketing campaign. Basically, unleash your employees to create personalized websites about whatever interests them, and attempt to leverage that into some sort of sneaky personal brand connection concept. It is a stunning abuse of the very trust he seeks to promote in the wide open social commune that he calls the net. It is a bit like sending in undercover spies or some sort of digital trojan horse. Pollute and corrupt the system from the inside.
Thankfully, that sort of bloated neo-corporate blather for the most part has been lost in the sea of the web, because people are not so easily tricked by the bullshit of forced originality. It is a very well known fact that most blogs are abandoned within a few posts of being opened, as most people discover that they really have very little to say. Attempting to force employees to talk about whatever for fun and corporate prodfits is an even bigger non-starter, and as a result, most of what was in Gonzo Marketing regarding personal interest websites has pretty much failed.
In itâs place, we find things like myspace and any number of pathetic dating sites packed full of losers hiding behind fake photos and even faker profiles. In both cases, the goal seems only to score the most âfriendsâ? and not to actually talk about anything. A personal grandstanding and very shallow shout outs, totally transient in nature. For most of these people, the net is just a glorified school dance or pickup bar with smaller drink tabs and no reason to dress up.
Those who do chose to blog come in a couple of groups. The best bloggers tend to be the professionals that you actually want to know more about. I personally love to read Matt Cuttâs blog (he is a higher end Google guy, double meaning intended). It is filled with great information about how Google runs, things going on, and the weird things that Matt really enjoys. It is a real mish-mash, but good fun overall and not at all forced in language or subject.
In the middle area there are hundreds of thousands of people who ruin personal blogs on about every subject in the world, from anthills to zits and everything in between. Some of these are well written by people who have some skill and a real interesting point of view or passion for a subject, and others are just hack jobs from people who can barely string together a sentence. There is a ton of passion in these sites.
There is also the commercial blog. I run some of those ( like The Little Tit site or DDCup Big Booby Blog ) that are aimed to provide a service and inform a group of like minded people about things they might like. My personal preference in breast size doesnât come into play here, I professionally write from either point of view without issue, as I understand both, and they are darn good information and resource sites that visitors tend to enjoy. Over time I open more sites of the same general concept, reaching out to people with similar desires or pleasures. It is actually one of the most fun parts of my day to work on these sites.
Finally, there are the blog mega sites, like stile project or consumption junction that were bloggy type sites really before blogs existed. They are sort of the all things to all people, and are quite popular for various reasons.
What Locke failed to address in his book was the issue of integrity and truthfulness in blogging. It is very easy to write almost anything in a blog (My sister is an alien) without anything being able to check out the facts (nobody can prove she is an alien, now can they). The web is filled with blogs that lie, steal, cheat, and misleadâ¦ and that what keeps the blog world from being anything more than a poorly organized social experiment.
Let me give you an example. There are any number of âcelebâ? blogs out there, chatting about the latest gossip, often posting nipple slip pictures, embarrassing moments, and shots that are pretty darn funny. These sites get huge numbers of visitors every day, and they tend to try to sell people off to celeb nudity sites like Mr Skin or similar sites.
Every wonder where they get those pics from? Simple: THEY STEAL THEM.
Every wonder where these sites get their funny videos from? Do you think they have film crews all over the world chasing stupid drivers and dumb skateboard riders around? Nopeâ¦ THEY STEAL IT.
Now, consider this: If they are willing to steal material to fill their sites, would you consider that they might be a little bit fast and loose with facts too?
Nobody is checkingâ¦ nobody knows.
If you get your news from blogs, then you probably donât have all the truthâ¦ just be careful, okay?