Blogging dead – who says!

by Peter Young on December 11, 2008 · 0 comments

Over the last year or so, there have been a number of posts declaring the so-called death of blogging citing reducing blog volumes, lack of uniqueness and a number of other metrics. I would however suggest, that it is not so much that blogging is dying, more that is has matured.

In particular it was the recent announcement by Hewlett Packard (HP) , highlighting an 85% increase in sales – as a result of a targeted campaign using blogs. In an environment were hyper sales increases are becoming less and less common – such figures are all the more suprising, and even more so – when it is considered that this has been mainly attributed to activity focussed primarily online.

The figures primarily centre around the HP Dragon, a range of laptops whose sales were mediocre to say the least, a laptop whose specs should not be frowned at – sporting a 20.1 inch screen, 500GB disk space, and weighing in at a mere 15 pounds.

Following a social media campaign, aptly named ‘31 days of the dragon‘, in which 31 prominent blogs (based on influence andpower (links, rank and recommednations)  were targeted and given the chance to offer 31 laptops as prizes in 31 days – effectively a months worth of competitions where the blogs made up their own competitions with their own rules – but agreed to promote the contests of everyone else in the group.

The result was that the first five pages of Google results for searches on HP and HP Dragon were blog posts about the contest. At the last count HP they had over 380,000 links to the 31 sites discussing the contest. Bloggers got over 25,000 contest entries and an average 150% increase in traffic.

The sites included were:

02 May – 09 May
03 May – 10 May
04 May – 11 May
05 May – 12 May
06 May – 13 May

07 May – 14 May and
08 May – 15 May
09 May – 16 May

10 May – 17 May
11 May – 18 May
12 May – 19 May
13 May – 20 May
14 May – 21 May

15 May – 22 May
16 May – 23 May

17 May – 24 May
18 May – 25 May
19 May – 26 May
20 May – 27 May
21 May – 28 May
22 May – 29 Mau

23 May – 30 May
24 May – 31 May
25 May – 01 Jun
26 May – 02 Jun
27 May – 03 Jun
28 May – 04 Jun

29 May – 05 Jun
30 May – 06 Jun
31 May – 07 Jun
01 Jun – 08 Jun

The Result: An almost 85% increase in sales of a computer that was released over nine months ago.

Startling, and even more impressive if you consider the ongoing benefits

  • The amount of positive brand coverage relating to the brand is immense – with the knock on effect – that many of these sites have significant followings – and thus considerable influence
  • The increase in natural buzz is significantly better, given both the nature of the sites targeted, and the natural syndication from there. Certainly stats such as those released above are all the more likely to increase the awareness of both the product and brand itself

Certainly a significant argument that blogs are not dead. In my opinion what we are starting to see is a maturity in the channel – don’t get me wrong – there is certainly room for manouvre and improvement. For those that remember some of the posts that were released following Jason Calacanis retirement announcement – and the insuing blogging is dead posts , I would suggest that the above data highlights the power and influence that blogs have and how they have matured, and that blogs are likely to be around for a while yet, because:

  1. Many blogs are now established resources – one look at my – and many other peoples RSS readers will display a plethora of blogs amongst their regular online haunts. Many of these blogs have become media properties in their own right – and have built up followings and fanbases.
  2. Blogs are evolving – new sites such as Twitter and Tumblr are providing innovative new ways of interacting with audiences
  3. Social Media Hybrids – Sites such as Facebook allow you to interface your blog with your social media profile – thus creating a hybrid of technologies
  4. Blogs are interactive – Many blogs don’t just contain content – they are  a mix of video, content and imagery.
  5. Many businesses have not embraced blogging let alone social media

Certainly the opportunity gap is shortening – however from a commercial perspective I would suggest there is still room at the table…..

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