Just this week I gave my full-day seminar on Social Media Marketing for IAB Canada - Interactive Advertising Bureau - in Montreal (I'm doing it again in Toronto next week on Wednesday, March 19th and then in Vancouver on Friday, March 28th). If you've ever given a presentation in front of a crowd, there is always a moment where words just come out. You're not sure where they come from (sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad), but you "put them out there" and you can't take them back. During the session on Wednesday, I told the participants that Blogging is still the single-most important thing any of them can do in Social Media and Web 2.0. I've been reflecting on this thought, and I believe it to be true.
Here are 15 reasons why Blogging matters more than ever:
1. It brings ideas out to the public - a lot of people have some pretty unique perspectives. Now, we all get a chance to hear those ideas and explore them.
2. You can get something off your chest - imagine if violence in the world went away because more and more people used their Blogs to express themselves (good, bad and ugly)?
3. There are multiple truths - the old saying, "there are three sides to every story" obviously came out long before Blogging. We know there are millions of truths (aren't there?).
4. New ideas - A lot of Blogs are riffs on other people's ideas, but once in a while you come across something new, brilliant and beautiful - knowing full-well that this idea would never had seen the light of day if mainstream media was the only place you could publish your idea for the world to see.
5. Different perspectives - probably one of the most amazing things about a Blog - all the various voices from different parts of the world, and how they all flow and groove together. Blogging breaks down cultural and geographical borders. Is there anything more fascinating than alternative opinions?
6. Disintermediate traditional media - is something that was written or reported about you (or your company) inaccurate? Well, because of Blogging you can set the record straight.
7. Search - as powerful as Universal Search will be in the coming years, human beings will still always search for content using text. Search Engines love Blogs. Having your content available and present when someone is doing a search with your keywords is critical, and will become even more important in the coming years as more and more Consumers first brand interactions happen at the search box.
8. Empowers people to respond - we love Blogs because people can leave a comment or trackback to your thoughts. The medium is one that not only encourages people to respond, it was built with that as one of its sole purposes. Blogging has become a true forum for exchange.
9. Very niche segments - isn't it amazing that there are multiple places where you can get perspectives on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding and Social Media like this Blog? The power is not in producing a Blog that had wide mass appeal. The power is in creating a Blog that has niche appeal. Then, all of the Blogs combined make up a mass amount of content that has appeal to all. Where else can you argue and exchange ideas all about your personal areas of interest?
10. What you're saying isn't half as cool as what people are saying back - think about that. Your Blog acts as a spark to the conversation. So, if you're Blogging for Business or as a Marketing tool, the real "win" is your ability to hear what's coming back and make your products and services better.
11. The signal to noise ratio is worthwhile - sure, most of the comments and feedback you get are self-serving linkbait, but there will always be a handful that are insightful, thoughtful and will change your previous conceived perceptions. I've had a comment or two that have made me question the human condition. It's powerful.
12. Community can help you solve problems - this needs no explanation. By constantly providing insights and a platform for communication, there is now a community of people who are ready, willing and able to help and contribute.
13. It's all about honesty - honesty brings success. The more honest you are, the better the Blog is. I believe this to be one of the major reasons why the Blogs I love most are the ones that are not relying on third-party advertising or major industry support.
14. Legacy - Google has a very long tail. Whatever you Blog about becomes part of our global and collective history. It's there (in some form or another) forever. While that will scare some, I think it's one of the coolest things ever. It forces me to think long and hard about what I'm going to post and, more importantly, how that post is going to look in two-three years time. Whatever you Blog about is going to be there forever.
15. Blog = Personal Brand - it's your channel to get your message out. It is how people will see you. It is what people will think about when they hear your name. How do you make a Blog successful and build your Personal Brand? Look at #13.