The Business Value of Blogging, #356

It seems the insight and discussions around blogging in the biz-0-$phere have a long ways to go before being done. The Wall Street Journal put up an e-debate today between Alan Meckler of Jupiter Media and Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc. The third millennium is revisited here by a “failure to communicate.”

I found this topic over at GigaOM.

Really, the whole point of this debate was something of a canard I think because there are basic fundamentals that can predict the answer. Duh. Take any activity or enterprise, and for now, there is a predictable response curve aka pyramid: a few will make it to the very top by whatever measure you choose to use, and the rest will be happy or miserable at various steps down below, depending on their nature and their goals. Leave it to traditional media to pick a blatantly silly and almost irrelevant topic to engage two influential thinkers.

However! It highlights something I think about almost every day. The digital divide between those who are embracing the internet and those who are either ignoring it or dismissing it.

I don’t want to be an agist, but I think older people who were raised on last century business practices are really having a hard time “getting it.” To get it means, in my mind, not having any guaranteed idea where the internet is taking us and how it is transforming our lives, not to mention the business landscape. That is one of the subtle and striking observations I notice when reading these sorts of articles as well as talking to clients. And mind you, I am 53 so I have the tendency towards status quo too. But as I rebelled against it then, I am reveling in the potential of the internet now.

If you get it, you don’t have to predict it. You are just open to the possibilities and you are in on the game. The jock is no longer the shoe-in; the nerd may win by sheer force of personality.

If you don’t get it, you dismiss the game as temporary and insignificant. Read this dismissive comment from Alan Meckler, CEO at Jupitermedia, “an Internet media research and marketing firm:”:

“Blogs are really the “diaries” of yesteryear.” No actually they are the opposite. Diaries were highly guarded caches of personal secrets and gossip. Blogs are highly public fonts of (mis)informed (both) opinions backed by supporting citations with the power to affect elections among other things. Not to mention direct revenue generators of various proportions.

To which Jason replied: “You are correct that the majority of folks are not going to make a living from blogs, but that’s because they choose not to try, not because they couldn’t. If folks focus in on a niche and own it there is a good chance they could make half a living from blogging.”

The internet truly does bring more power to the people. If you’re a person, you too can enjoy more power by participating on the internet.

My bottom line is that it’s not life threatening if you don’t get it. One of the most powerful aspects of the internet is that it has allowed us to bare our souls and insecurities and come out stronger on the other side. You’re actually on the road to getting it by admitting you don’t get it. And that’s altogether different than thinking you get it, and then dismissing it. You got that?


AUTHOR: Mary Schmidt
DATE: 04/20/2006 02:32:02 PM
Um, I think I got it. Or, at least I know that I don’t got it, but I know what it is. Or, something like that.

I agree that it could be partly a matter of age (and I’m 48, so I’m not age-bashing here.) I was talking to an older colleague this week about blogging and the Web, and while she said she wanted to learn more, she then said “I’m amazed when you tell me about all you do on the Internet. I just don’t have the time to play on the computer all day.” Of course, I called her on the “play” and she quickly backtracked, said she didn’t mean it that way. Freudian slip there, methinks.

But, we all have to find our own level – in life, business and technology, don’t we?