The power of blog buzz

The power of blog buzz
: Many of us have seen it: A mention of a blog in a paper or a magazine or even on TV doesn’t bring in nearly the traffic of a big blog link. I get much more traffic from a mention by Glenn Reynolds than from a mention in Time magazine or the New York Times.

I remember the business head of MSNBC.com telling me sometime ago that Glenn Reynolds’ column there gets more traffic from external blogs than from the internal promotional power of the meganewssite.

See Media Drop‘s comments (and links to Terry Heaton and Bill Hobbs) on a panel discussion that brought gasps to the lungs of flacks when they heard this phenom: Blogs cause more links than big, old media.

Now on the one hand, this may be stating the obvious: A linking medium causes links. But I do think it is proof of the influence and buzz-making power of weblogs. Print and TV have no means to answer a call to action; blogs do. Print and TV give us a big tapioca of information; blogs give us personal recommendations (someone who says, click here because I think you should).

This should be an underlying theme of tomorrow’s Bloggercon session on making blogs make money, for it points to the unique value of this medium over others. We (pardon me) make buzz like a machine.

  • http://www.themediadrop.com Tom

    What I got out of it more than anything was that the PR folks *didn’t know* that this was the situation, therefore driving said “buzz”.

  • http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/ Seth Finkelstein

    “But I do think it is proof of the influence and buzz-making power of weblogs”
    I think it’s the proof of the influence and buzz-making power of one person with a VERY WIDELY READ weblog, of *hundreds* *of* *thousands* of readers.
    This is not “weblogs”, plural. Confusing the two is very problematic.
    Now, of course, there’s contexts in which this is meaningful – advertising does allow the aggregation of eyeballs. But this is more about market efficiency than anything else.

  • http://www.maultasch.us Jayme

    As an individual starting a weblog as I hobby I can testify to the daunting task of finding an audience. (WARNING: Shameless Plugging) I just started Maultasch’s Musings and after a month I decided I was comfortable with the form and confident I had a unique viewpoint I wanted to share. The thing is its very hard to get noticed. For all this talk about blogs being distinct from mass media it seems to me like the super popular blogs are all done by people with connections to the mass media IE reporters, former reporters, freelancers, etc who benefit from knowing each other and linking to each other’s sites. My question is how do your break out and draw attention in the blogosphere?

  • http://www.pheedo.com Bill Flitter

    Believe me, I am a big supporter of weblogs. They definitely have a place in marketing. However, saying, “Blogs cause more links than big, old media” is like saying radio causes more sound or TV is more visual. The nature of weblogs as you point is just that, they link. Secondly, they are personal, much different then a corporate news website. It

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Bill: Fair criticism. The phenom is the linking within this world being stronger than linking from without; that’s what I was trying to say (badly, apparently). I’m not sure what the root of that is. But I do think there is the root of something bigger there and so I’m throwing it out there.

  • http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/ Seth Finkelstein

    Jeff: Very many bloggers are in professions where citation is important – both academics and journalists have this in their culture. So they link more than, say, advertising copywriters, who would regard a link as at best clutter and at worst potential distraction from the message.
    But I caution that it’s easy to attach too much importantance to it. Having a citation doesn’t mean people will read it (though of course some do), or that it changes anything dramatically.

  • http://www.themediadrop.com Tom

    Bill – yes, it is intrinsic that blogs *link*, but think of the amount of times that someone was advertising something online and they have their URL or some contest promotion or whatever and you don’t ever get to look it up because there’s that time lag between when you see it on television and you get to your computer. Blogs erase that. While you may not hit 1,000,000 eyeballs per showing on a blog, the “buzz” factor is definitely in full effect, and it’s cheap. For instance – my blog gets ~100 visitors a day. Jeff linked to me here, driving that number up by some factor which I’m not sure of just yet. Someone links to Jeff, and causes that same effect over again.
    The cost to enter the market is very, very minimal. It’s only a matter of time before PR folks start sending press releases not only to editors at publications (online and offline), but to bloggers in focused markets.

  • Old Grouch

    “… gets more traffic from external blogs than from the internal promotional power of the meganewssite.”

    And what does this say about the “wisdom” of sites that redirect external links to a registration page?