Principles and apostrophes (corrected)*

Micro Persuasion: The Four P’s of Blog Marketing

Good post (as usual) by Steve Rubel:

"The Four P’s of Blog Marketing
Anyone who has spent any time around marketers has probably heard about the profession’s "Four P’s." These are the core elements of marketing – product, price, place and promotion. Well, the more I think about it, blog marketing needs its own version of the four P’s. How about these?
The Four P’s of Blog Marketing
Passionate – Write about issues that are near and dear to your heart
Purposeful – Make sure you keep the end in mind; why are you blogging?
Present – Keep an eye on what’s topical today
Positional – Take a stand on an issue and follow it."

Applies just as much to people who don’t want to (or don’t know how to) market their blog. It makes good sense whatever the "product".

Ps does not need an apostrophe*, though, as it is a plural not a possessive. But I’m an editor not a marketing person. I can get into whole debates about hyphens. and commas, in blogs, in the office, on my daughter’s homework and anywhere. Sad? Maybe not. Lynn Truss made a heap of money writing a book (Eats, Shoots, and Leaves) about, basically, greengrocers putting up signs saying "potatoe’s 50 p per pound". She must have instinctively applied the four Ps, and good luck to her. (Anyone into this kind of topic will love her couple of pages about subeditors removing and replacing each others’ commas.)

*Thank you to Dave Lull who has pointed out in a most thoughtful way that I spelt "apostrophe" wrong. Twice. (No excuse.) I have now corrected the spelling in the original post.

Irony squared

How ironic, after writing the previous post (and some others previously in similar vein) I have got my first nasty comment. Books, Inq. linked to my "Sunday Papers" posting, calling it a "review", and someone posted a comment saying what a crap review it was.

Well, it wasn’t a review, it was an ironic (that word again) comment on motivation for purchasing a newspaper — does it matter what is in it if they give away a good DVD? Acutally the answer must be "yes", because there was another mildly good DVD being given away in the "News of the World" which I saw next to the pile of Sunday Timeses, but I would not buy NotW even if they were giving away a Viggo Mortensen DVD and that’s saying something. (I’d go out and buy the DVD though!)

I find the nasty comment strangely hurtful, but why should I care? I know that I dislike the Sunday Times for its dishonest and cruel reporting on HIV in the 1980s. It is not a very "serious" newspaper, but nor is any daily newspaper in the UK except the FT (and that’s too stodgy for me). The UK media doesn’t have very high standards of accuracy, and tends to have it in for people on principle. (Glenda Slag in Private Eye summed it all up: a column starting "Don’t you just love….." followed immediately by a column "Don’t you just hate…." the same person.) This is tolerable, one just factors it in and doesn’t take it seriously. Apart from occasions when a baseless and dangerous campaign is run week-in-week-out, for no better reason than to gain notoriety (and sell papers), and certainly not in the pursuit of journalistic truth.

I still smart from the mean comment, though. I think it is because life is tough enough, and I have found blogging so far to be a civilised and amusing haven. Jenny Davidson posted a negative review the other day on Light Reading, she very sensitively did not mention the author or the book, but linked to it on Amazon instead. I agree with her sentiments.

More on the meaning of blogs

Grumpy Old Bookman: The impact of blogs

"Auntie: How do you fill up your time now that you’re retired?
Me: Well, I do quite a lot of writing. I run a thing called a blog, on the internet.
Auntie: Oh. And is that very remunerative?
Me: No. I’ve never earned a penny from it.
Auntie: Oh. Well in that case it doesn’t count."

Says it all, really. The post (linked to above) is pertinent: a few stats about how many people read blogs, and why on earth one would want to write one.

One thinks of the Internet as an unbelivably huge mass of information, which it is. Only two blogs (out of an Internet total of 27.2 million) get over 1 million readers a day (wonder which? The FT article discussed by GOB and linked to on Petrona 2 at the time of publication, presumably containing the info, is now behind a subscription wall) . The 1oooth most popular blog has under 600 readers a day.

But the amazing thing I have learned since starting blogging a mere 3 months ago is not the number of readers, but how quick and easy it is to target one’s blog readership to those on topics that interest you. In my case, incredibly "niche". But I have enjoyed so much in such a brief time from reading GOB, Books, Inq., Collected Miscellany, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, Contemporary Nomad, Light Reading, Another 52 Books, Book of the Day, and quite a few others. (91 bloglines feeds currently: I had to delete the really manic sites like Delicious, coming in at 200 new items an hour).

"Prioritise and focus" takes on a new meaning in the blogging context. What an amazing combination, blogs and rss readers. How lucky we are to be living in such times, where wherever you live in the world you can so easily find just the very thing that you always wanted to read about did you but know it. And participate. And all for free.