“The power of bloggers to influence thought, to reach large numbers of people and even to eclipse the impact of traditional media is huge and will grow even larger in the near future,” Blogging and Social Media expert Don Crowther announced today at the 2007 Blogword and New Media Expo in Las Vegas.
“What the traditional media doesn’t recognize is that many bloggers, though unrestrained by traditional journalistic methods and ethics, have audiences and actual readership larger than many newspapers, television and radio shows,” Crowther said. “Plus this audience is often more loyal and able to be influenced than that of traditional media, giving bloggers tremendous power to shape opinions, actions and purchasing behavior.”
The implications of this power are far reaching. Crowther indicated:
Major companies are now actively courting bloggers, sending them samples, and even inviting them to closed announcement parties and demonstrations in hopes that the bloggers will write positively about their product. Companies are also seeking to reach the audiences of key influential blogs through advertising and sponsorship deals.
Bloggers are also gaining power in the political arena. “In 2004, for the first time, bloggers were granted press passes to attend the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In 2008, in addition to receiving press passes, I anticipate that they will also be actively interviewed by the major media, not only because of what they have to say, but because the media personalities will recognize that these bloggers have the power to get their reading audience to actually watch the interview, increasing that program’s ratings.” Crowther said.
Progressive bloggers are also expanding their influence through using social media. Not only are they actively using social bookmarking sites like Digg, Technorati and Del.icio.us, but they are starting to use video (distributed through podcasts and YouTube), and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.
“Why do bloggers enjoy this popularity? It appears that people follow blogs because they see bloggers as real people just like them, with interesting personalities and clearly stated biases (as opposed to the concealed biases they believe traditional media to have),” Crowther said. “They also find that blogs better fit their online lifestyle, consumable for free and on demand, without having to wait for the evening news or pay for access to a newspaper.”
Don Crowther is the Chief Marketing Officer for Free IQ, owner of www.101PublicRelations.com, an expert on blogging, social media and marketing; and a popular speaker at key online marketing events. He is also the author of the ebook “Blogging for Business” and a soon to be released “Social Marketing Traffic Secrets” focusing on how to use Blogging and Social Networking to build business and traffic.
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