Friday, May. 29, 2009

Making Blogs Count

Much has been written about the democratization of media and how blogs and other nonmainstream media have begun to supplant traditional media as a source of information, news and entertainment. Twitter will almost certainly extend this trend. Twitter will also expand the power of the blogosphere by further severing the relationship between mainstream audiences and traditional media, which have typically been controlled by TV's distribution to a large number of viewers, in addition to the millions of people who subscribe to magazines and newspapers.

Bloggers, including Perez Hilton and TechCrunch, have huge Twitter followings, and Twitter will give content operations with limited numbers of employees and small distribution budgets access to hundreds of thousands of Twitter users based on the community's views of the merit of their content. Twitter will not only democratize content but also democratize the advertising that goes with content. Each tweet about a piece of content can be attached to a short phrase or sentence from a sponsoring marketer. This could backfire among Twitter users who may resent the use of the service for commercial reasons. But that is unlikely to happen in all cases, especially if people following blogs or major media see value in the messages they get and understand that media cannot survive long-term on free content. Twitter also democratizes traffic, because on Twitter, traffic does not have to be paid for. Twitter gives major media the opportunity to extend its reach but will simultaneously help media with quality content but no marketing budget gain access to a large and potentially national audience.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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