Brands and blogs

“If you want to control the message, buy an ad. If you want to have a rich (but risky) dialogue, consider a blog.”

That’s the advice from Mark Kingdon in an article appearing today in ClickZ.  Kingdon focuses on the potential for blogs in supporting a brand, noting that consumers are talking about brands in their own blogs, raising the possibility that “if businesses don’t create their own conversation forum, their brands, products, services, and reputations might be co-opted by others.”

Great brands, Kingdon notes, have always involved users. He points to the enormous success of the Harley Owner’s Group, which helped revitalize a… Read More »

No slowdown in Net growth

Ipsos-Reid is out with new figures confirming that the online population continues to grow. Japan led the way in 2004; increased Internet use brought the total online population to 80% of households. In the US, the number of Internet users grew 27% over 2003, contradicting expectations that Internet adoption had peaked following the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Forty-two percent of the US population—162 million people—use the Net, according to the study, The Face of the Web.

According to Brian Cruikshank, Senior Vice-President of Ipsos-Insight: ???The continued growth in the Leading Edge markets provides a glimpse into the future…

Read More »

The Hobson and Holtz Report - Podcast #5: January 31, 2005

Show notes for January 31, 2005.

Download MP3 podcast

Welcome to our weekly podcast, a 71:55-minute conversation recorded live via Skype from Concord, California, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Download the file here (MP3, 33.7MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For this, you’ll need ipodder, software that lets you subscribe to receive podcasts automatically and sync them to your digital player.)

In this week’s show:


  • 00:26 Shel and Neville on what this show’s about; brief comment on last week’s audio glitch
  • 01:28 Skype voice messaging beta test; Skype text messaging

Short Takes:

In a crisis, TV is not your friend

Fredrik Wacka cautions against using a corporate blog in a crisis. Caution in a crisis is always good counsel, but one of Wacka’s primary arguments needs closer scrutiny.

In a crisis, emotion is in play more than logic. Publics have emotional responses to crises, which means companies can never come out ahead by engaging in rational debate no matter how right they are. Organizations engaging in debate appear guilty to a risk-averse public. Wacka acknowledges this, but adds, “10 times out of 10 I would choose the emotional TV medium before the informal blog medium to show sympathy/empathy.”

There is no question that television gives… Read More »

Another exec posts to Fastlane

For a while, Fastlane seemed to be Bob Lutz’s very own blog. The vice chairman of General Motors was the only person posting items despite an introduction that characterized the blog as a forum for GM executives (plural). Neville Hobson points out that Powertrain Group VP Tom Stephens has joined the party. Read Neville’s post for details.

Interview with a link spammer

If you, like me, have ever been assaulted by content spam, it’s enlightening to read an interview with a professional link spammer in today’s Register. “Sam” uses open proxies to spam blogs, which he says is legal (as opposed to e-mail spam). His clients are PPCs (pills, porn and casinos), which earn between 100,000 and 200,000 pounds per month from their sites, of which Sam and his ilk get a slice. He has no intention of giving that up.

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