May 8, 2007

The Old doesn't understand the New

A company that I sometimes take jobs from recently had an opportunity available to work with a major motion picture studio in the promotion of an upcoming film. This was the first of its kind opportunity and the company that I sometimes take jobs from really wanted its post... er um, associates to take this opportunity and run with. However, the amount of promotion that the major motion picture studio required, and the hoops they wanted the bloggers to jump through, was not in step with the amount of money they were offering. For any other business, bloggers would have expected at least twice as much, maybe even 3 to 5 times as much for the same amount of work. While I do appreciate the fact that the "Old Media" is trying the waters at least in advertising or promotions through the New Media, the way in which it did so made me go on this rant in a forum. I thought I'd share. After all, that's why I have a blog.

The Old Media (ie - movie studios, TV networks, newspapers, etc.) have no idea what this whole "New Media" thing is. (That would be us - bloggers, vloggers, wikiers, podcasters, etc..) So they expect an "advertisement" to be something that they control. They control what is said, how it is said, to whom it is said, how often it is said, what is seen while it is being said, and, of course, it's always ALWAYS pro-whatevertheyareselling or anti-whatevertheyarecompetingagainst.

They don't understand the concept of general "Buzz". They don't get how the most scathing negative review can actually be good for your product or service.

One of the benefits (by far not the only one, of course) of advertising via a service like PayPerPost is just the links. I mean, it improves PageRank, Alexa, Technorati, SEO, all that stuff, just from the links themselves, regardless of the tone of the text surrounding the link.

Then there is the idea that blog readers don't just blindly trust what Joe Blogger has to say. Do they want to know what Joe Blogger has to say? Of course, otherwise they wouldn't be reading it. Do they has some amount of respect for Joe Blogger's ideas? Yes, again, why else would they be there? But they also know that with a little effort, they themselves could become Joe Blogger, and they wouldn't even have to stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night to do so. So they follow the links to check out if what this guy has to say is accurate, or just to make their own opinions. So even when what Joe Blogger has to say about Product X is bad - if he includes a link to Product X's website (which, even in non-sponsored posts, you should always link) - it's good for Product X.

Remember the MasterLock blogger who showed a video of him picking a brand new MasterLock in a few seconds using a cheap ink pen? That was horrible publicity for MasterLock. It even got on the National TV News. But when MasterLock finally fixed the problem - it was a victory for Bloggers and the New Media in general - as well as just the "little guy" consumer - but it also showed that MasterLock cared about the quality of their product (eventually, after denying the problem existed) and that they were willing to listen to their customers and to admit their mistakes. Ultimately, to me anyway, it improved the reputation of MasterLock, and got me to remember their name.

Which, after all, isn't that the only goal of advertising - to get you to remember their name? Any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right.

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