Steve Rubel on Blogs/Consumer Generated Media

Steve Rubel, Micropersuasion, Vice President, Client Services, Cooperkatz, talking on blogging at the conference.

Cooperkatz is a 20-person PR firm. Has visibility comparable to the top firms because of blogging.

Started with moment of silence for “ye olde mass media ecosystem”.
– centralized/top down
– costly/high barrier to entry
– staffed by professionals
– unidirectional

New media ecosystem
– widespread broadband
– cheap/free, easy-to-use online publishing
– mobile devices
– new advertising paradigms, to allow bloggers to monetize

Two spheres of influence: media sphere/blogosphere

———————————–V
Blogs < --> Media < --> Audience
V———————————

1.2m new blog posts per *day* (much more accurate metric than # blogs).
33,000 posts per hour
9.2 per second
21.9m blogs in total
70,000 new blogs per day
A new blog born every second
Doubling in size approx every 5 months

When you track # blog posts, you see spikes after every major media event (tsunami, Deep Throat revealed, etc.)

Case study: hackingnetflix.com shows up as #2 when you search on ‘netflix’, because of all his incoming links. When hackingnetflix.com complained about the fact that the PR department was ignoring him, hackingnetflix.com created even more traffic for himself—publicizing their brushoff.

Case study: MSFT. Problem: “no one trusts us”. Solution: “Channel 9“, a place where developers can see what internal MSFT people are saying. Got 75,000 page views in first week strictly from word of mouth. MSFT has 2,000+ employee bloggers.

InflightHQ.com – a “tip blog”

Vespaway and Vespaquest. These are four vespa enthusiasts. The company doesn’t pay them or give them Vespas; but they do give them access to top management, and that’s what they value.

Who’s losing with blogs?

Captain Morgan blog. He’s a character, but he can’t blog; he can’t have a dialogue with me.

Kryptonite blog story posted to bikeforums.net . Result: they promised free product exchange, with estimated cost of $10m (for a $30M company).

This is bigger than blogs. RSS disseminates info to the broader world.

False information stays up on Wikipedia for just a few seconds.
It’s now a top 10 news & reference site. More traffic than NY Times. Wikipedia is the next Google.

Four-part philosophy to dealing with this new world:
1) Find—which bloggers have the greatest potential to become your evangelists/vigilantes

2) Listen. Understand the common threads of conversation. Engage with bloggers.

3) Identify key trends/issues/needs

4) Size up competitors

Empower bloggers to achieve something they might not achieve on their own.

I asked to what extent lines between traditional media and old media are fading.
Rubel said, it’s already happening. Adrants.com and Paidcontent.org are professional bloggers.