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On Engaging the Bloggers
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, November 22, 2006

[Via Instapundit] The PoMoBlog demonstrates a clear understanding of the proper relationship between institutions and the blogosphere.
The local bloggers jumped in, because they feel a sense of ownership in the site. Let this be a lesson to media companies wishing a plate at the table of Media 2.0. The personal media revolution lives and breathes on its own. Your BEST position is one of supporting the life form, not trying to harness or control it. If you can keep your distance, it will reward you in ways you cannot imagine.
For institutions interested in engaging the blogosphere ... the key is to understand the incentives at work.For institutions interested in engaging the blogosphere — and here, I refer to corporations, interest groups, candidates and political Parties — the key is to understand the incentives at work. Bloggers blog for many reasons, but "to help [insert your institutional interest here]" is rarely one of them.

Bloggers are not...
  • ...reporters, obligated to dispassionately transcribe your message.
  • ...terribly interested in press releases.
  • ...generally interested in being a conduit for your message.
  • ...blogging for your benefit.
Treat bloggers as the enemy, and you will be rewarded with an enemyBloggers are...
  • ...interested in unique insights, scoops, dirt, scandals, access and anything that will enhance their intellect, traffic, stature or ego.
  • ...more apt to criticize "their own" if "their own" is not giving them the other side of the story.
  • ...rarely given the ammunition they could use to deal with news stories and defuse emerging narratives.
To appeal to bloggers, you must figure out what they want — on an individual level — and become a service to them. As the old ESPN saying went, you cannot stop can only hope to contain them. Treat bloggers as the enemy, and you will be rewarded with an enemy; treat bloggers as valuable constituents — with individual interests — and you may be rewarded with allies.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

In these latter days Blogs become very popular. And many people started use them by way of promoting something.
Written By: Selina
Bloggers are "...rarely given the ammunition they could use to deal with news stories and defuse emerging narratives."

Can you comment on your strategy of sending out "suggested content" to the conservative VA bloggers during the Allen-Webb campaign?

To me, it seemed ineffective. It appeared that within 15 minutes of your email, all of the bloggers copy & pasted your release. The intended "echo chamber" was essentially diluted b/c it was blatantly obvious how unoriginal and partisan the blogs became. I avoided any blog that partook and searched out the independent ones.

Written By: Josh
URL: http://
Your opinion on engaging the blogosphere is very interesting considering your recent history as Senator Allen’s paid internet attack dog. On the payroll, it seemed that you were relying on the blogosphere to be a conduit for the Allen attacks and press releases. Most of the right-wing Virginia blogosphere was more than accommodating and dutifully posted the attacks that you coordinated. Some freely admitted it, others pretended they weren’t aware. Only a small handful were willing to criticize their own which was odd considering how ridiculous some of the attacks were (ex. trying to trick people into thinking that Webb’s fiction book was non-fiction). Just wondering if you regret some of the more outlandish attacks that you pushed now that the election is over? Or do you still stand by them?

Written By: Alice
URL: http://

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