Blogs and Blog Advertising
By Peter Figueredo
Smart online marketing, or a waste of money?
It seems that lately you can't pick up a trade publication without reading about blogs. As an online marketing executive, you may be wondering how—if at all—it can help you meet your e-commerce objectives. This column takes a close look at this "buzz topic" to help you evaluate this emerging area of online marketing. It could prove to be either a very valuable marketing tool or a waste of time and money.
What are Blogs?
According to Blogger (www.blogger.com)—a company acquired by Google in early 2003 that provides users with an easy-to-use platform for building blogs—a blog, or weblog, is defined as follows:
A personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.
In simple terms, a blog is a Web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or e-mail you. Or not.
This definition may be a little confusing, but what it boils down to is that blogs are Web sites where people or businesses can post content on one or a variety of subjects. Other users can read the posts and discuss them through the Web site.
A great example of how blogs have emerged as a valuable news source could be seen during the presidential election. A select few bloggers were granted press passes to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions for the purpose of reporting developments to their readers.