Sell out

Someone is trying to hire writers for marketing blogs. Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  • JeffC

    But they have a 401K!

  • Patricia

    How on earth can they produce an independent free-wheeling blog? It sounds like the typical strangulating corporate gig.

  • Tish G

    I’m not surprised by this one…when all manner of pundit claims that blogging is this or that, coupled with the desire so many people have to work from home and make money while still wearing their pajamas….it’s all just a natural slouching toward Gomorrah…

  • Piers Fawkes

    Firstly, I think we’re all getting a little bored of the A team bloggers keeping all the work to themselves – passing spare work to their mates. There are a lot fo good bloggers out there who would love to do this – because they don;t make money from their blogging yet – you and your gang are keeping it all the fun stuff to yoursleves – so it seems. Your post reinforces my opinion, Jeff.

    Secondly, Electic Artists are an amazingly progressive outfit who are involved with a lot of projects that you probably visit (or should visit) regularly. The owner of Electric Artists, Marc Schiller, together with his wife oversee probably the most influential blogs on the planet – the Wooster Collective – connecting a new generation in a way old white bloggers can’t understand. You think working for someone who produces that will find it a “typical strangulating corporate gig”, Particia? Do your research, love.

  • Nollind Whachell

    Exactly Patricia! I’ve been harping about this for a while. Why is it that everyone thinks that by using weblog technology, you are effectly run a blog? Uh, no way!

    Blogging isn’t about a change of technology, it is about a change of culture. How many blogging consultants have you seen pushing this? None that I’ve seen. To most of them it is more about using the technology and your writing skills. I don’t care how well you write a press release, it is still a sterile press release. Writing a blog requires that you be emotionally connected to something that you care about, yet businesses don’t like the “E”-word. “We can’t have people getting all emotional on us! Bad for business!” You see when people get emotional they tend to get messy in their writing. Can’t have that now can we? Everything has to be perfect and sterile.

    I had a different approach to this a few years ago but no sane (or should I say insane) business mind would ever go for it. Instead of “hiring” people to blog about your business, just go out and find people who are already passionate about your business and “support” them. That’s it! Don’t get in their face. Don’t tell them what to do. Don’t tell them what to say. Just removing your grubby little controlling fingers and let them do what they do best. Be passionate about your business. Who cares if they don’t sound perfect like a press release, they will at least sound real and honest to people instead! But of course the typical response I got back was: “Why should we pay someone if they are already doing it for free for us?” No clue. No fricken clue.

  • Nollind Whachell

    Piers, she isn’t saying people shouldn’t be paid to blog, she is saying that the approach they are taking will make their blogs no different than a typical business site. Sure they’ll have posts and comments (hmm, maybe they won’t, can’t have people speaking openly on the site you know) that will give it the “look” of a blog but it still won’t be a blog.

    And if you think Wooster Collective, who I’ve never heard of either, is a group who is passionate about what they blog about then they seriously need to change that job posting. From what I read there, I agree with Patricia, you are only going to be getting business marketing people focused on making money. While blogs can benefit from marketing, the “soul” of the blog is about being passionate about something. It is no different than how ad banners fail today. Sure you may see a great ad that makes you click the link to the site but once you get there you are often times disappointed because it isn’t what you expected. The same applies to blogs. You can have marketing and adsense links leading to your site but if people read it and don’t find it passionate, genuine, real, and interesting then they are going to be disappointed and leave. And no, you don’t need any fancy research to figure that out.

  • Marc Schiller

    Jeff –

    As a long time and loyal reader of Buzzmachine, I noticed your comment on the site about a job description we put up for someone to spearhead our weblog projects at my firm, ElectricArtists.

    I’ve personally have been expoloring the weblog space for both personal and professional projects for many years. We launched weblogs that have been funded by companies and brands and they have all gone extremely well. Not sure if you’ve seen but it’s a good example of the work we’ve been doing in this space.

    We have a strong POV about how blogs should be used that I don’t think would be in conflict with your thoughts and opinions at all.

    I’m not exactly sure what you find at fault here but would love to chat further with you if you would like.


    Marc Schiller
    [email protected]

  • Nollind Whachell

    Sorry, one more thought on this that I think can clarify this further. There is a big difference between having a “daily news” blog (i.e. gizmodo) and have a blog focused on a specific business product or service. With one, you don’t need too much passion for each item you’re posting about but instead more of a passion for the general category (i.e. gizmodo = love of technology) because you are relaying information more than passion on each post . When you have a blog for a specific business product or service though, you really have to be very passionate and genuine about what you are talking about because you are going to focusing on it and talking about it all the time. If people hear one iota of BS from you (i.e. making a product sound better than it is, glossing over its know problems that are plastered over every forum, etc), they will pick it up instantly and be gone. Why do think so many people hate the typical business sites out there and are migrating to the blogging communities in the first place?

    But I do agree with you Piers that those bloggers who are out there should be getting paid for what they are passionately blogging about which is why I mentioned a support model instead of a business model. The disagreement is just in how these businesses are approaching the matter in their old business way of thinking. As I said above, it is not about a change of technology, it is about a change of culture.

  • Nollind Whachell

    Marc, did you read any of the comments? Just look at what Patricia wrote to get your answer in a nutshell. Your job posting is what people are talking about. If you are not the kind of company that the job posting is giving us the feeling you are, then maybe it might be a good idea to rewrite it to give the proper perception of your company.

    I mean if the job posting description at the top had said something like the following, it wouldn’t give such a sterile business feel to it.

    “Looking for a passionate person with strong blogging experience, excellent writing skills, and great leadership abilities to organize and lead a team of bloggers on a variety of interesting sites.”

    You could even keep the rest of the points afterwards. It is just the top description that really gives a bad feeling to the entire posting. Just change the above to suit your needs but I think you can get the idea of what we are talking about. You are sounding way too much like big business instead of a collective group of people who are working on something that they are passionate and care about. But then again, maybe the way you work is very formal and business-like with a centralized control to the hierarchy in your company which, in that case, fits the job description perfectly.

  • Right of Center

    first you whine about corporate America ignoring the blogsphere and now you whine that they are getting involved. Is their only “allowable” entrance to be prostrate at the feet of Jeff Jarvis?

    If their blogs become just more marketing blather, don’t worry we’ll be able to tell.

  • Marina Architect

    An inevitable outcome when the stakes change. No doubt there are semi-cool 20-30-somethings sitting around thinking about how they can monetize blogs. We are talking the pseudo-intellectual designer types who actually watch tv every night. Lame. Makes me think “where were you when we were geting high.” Yeah. So where do you go expounding the merits of blogs? You go where the budgets are: what’s 1 % of your budget to develop a dialogue with your customer. 1 % of a 100 million dollar marketing budget is peanuts for the corp and it makes the marketing exec look good at the conference table. We get it. Bullshit you do.

    This trend of blurring boundries of real versus sponsored is going to leak big time over the next 5 years. Even the Pioneer Jason Calacanis has lost his edge and will do jumpingjacks if you throw money at him: the giving away of a free Ipod Nano is the most desperate cheap stunt in the world. Wave a $200 gadget in exchange for traffic and manufactured link generation. That’s so low and not in a good way.

    It’s human nature to change when the stakes change. I did the SoHo loft thing (waking up on the couch) during the dot com days. I’m in Marina del Rey now, but during my dot com days, I reached a point where I realized integrity equals lacks of emotional intelligence. I live independently in spirit and I support the genuine and original. I’ve recently gotten behind Open Source and like the possibilities. This is in addition to going to Grad School to get my Masters.

  • Marc Schiller

    I can’t tell you what other marketing companies are doing in regards to blogging, but I can tell you what we are doing.

    1. The subject matter of the blog has to “make sense” in that each blog has to provide great content and value beyond what the brand is about. For A&E it was about tattoo culture. For Svedka, it was about nightlife.

    2. We don’t do stealth blogs and we don’t do character blogs.

    3. We work hard to balance the branding so that it is not in your face but it’s also clear that the blog has been sponsored by a specific company.

    4. We hire the best writers we can find for each supject. We don’t hire copywriters, we hire journalists.

    5. The client or brand does not dictate the content each day. The editorial team does and they do not interface with the client. They have the freedom to write about the things that they find interesting and revealing.

    Is all of this perfect? No, but we are taking all of it very seriously to make sure that we do things right.

    We’re hiring because we’re in search of the smartest people we can find who can participate in the dialogue about how brands should use blogs. We’re not hiring to create crappy coporate blogs that nobody cares about if that is the concern.


  • Tish G

    hiring bloggers to blog for you, at lower wages than you would a “real” content manager = internet mcjob.

    meet the new boss…same as the old boss…

  • Marina Architect

    Have you seen the new Tanqueray Gin “Tony Sinclair Campaign”. Now take that character and add a blog or voice to it. That’s really effective seduction for the Maxim audience of 16-35 year olds. That’s only the beginning.

    Brand dialogue as seduction via blogs is going to be rampant. Clothing, beverages, gadgets and food offer huge potential. How about a Nokia Cameraphone blog sponsored by Nokia with a cute college student and her cameraphone. Here’s where it gets interesting, when the editor adds an edge to the content. Say for instance the places she goes are wild by mainstream standards.

    Do what you gotta do but I don’t support it because it’s disingenuous and self-serving. It’s one-dimensional and biased and provides no benefit or beauty: read manufactured. Yeah, manufactured blogs are bad news. But are they good business in the long run? Unfortunately, Yes for the reason that the masses have no memory.

    Since I’m in my early 30’s, I’m immunized but my children(none yet) are going to have sort through it. No worries though. Everything is unreal, look at politics.

  • Patricia

    I actually do want to wish you, and any other internet entrepeneur, success.

    Word of advice: don’t hire Piers. Patronizing (“Patricia, love”) and bigoted (old white people”) writers will do you no good.

  • http://none John

    Take a look at sites like Constant Content, they are selling blog entries now.