The business of weblogs

The business of weblogs
: The Wall Street Journal lists “five key issues that could alter the ad industry,” including the return of the Web and this:

And presidential candidates Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and others are the envy of many marketers with Internet-based efforts that include a Weblog that anyone can join and techniques that urge people to hold their own house parties and communicate among themselves….

Will marketers take advantage of the new capabilities and come up with Web advertising that will actually work without ticking off surfers with ever more pop-up ads? The Internet has proved difficult to master in the past, but as more households embrace broadband, the potential is too great to ignore.

See also this good thinking from Hugh MacLeod, ad guy on blogs:

Perhaps the future of media brands (a “place” rather than a “thing”) applies to non-media brands as well? Where a brand is not something you buy, but participate in?

: Media and advertising have always been about relationships but in media not built for relationships because they were only one way: the big we has a relationship with the little you and not vice versa.

This is the first medium actually built for relationships, two-way, about listening and not just talking.

The ad industry and the brands they sell still can’t quite figure out how to use that; they still want to talk to. But once they do figure it out — and we’ll help them — they’ll be in heaven. They will find their ideal consumers; more important, their ideal consumers will find them. And those consumers will also become brands’ best sales agents and support staff (just look at this forum for the Treo 600) and market research department and R&D wing. All they have to do is learn how to let go and listen and let the consumers do the talking now that they have tools — such as weblogs and forums — that allow them to speak. The wise advertiser will follow Chris Locke’s admonition in Gonzo Marketing and find ways to underwrite what the consumers want to do.

It’s coming. Get ready.