Do you think Google should help people find articles and posts from the news companies that are suing them over copyright issues? The search giant has no choice but to send traffic to people who are happy to make their content available on generous terms, and to avoid indexing content that others claim copyright to. This has always been one factor driving online person journalism. It turns out that firms, charity organizations, spiritual groups, and political campaigns can also be journalists, and that their journalism can have the maximum amount of influence as person journalists or media moguls whether it’s well researched and well produced.
The Beginning of Newsblogging
“Newsblogging” is a term I more or less invented to describe a method of blogging we happened onto in 2007, and then refined at the online ADVERTISING firm, Customer St . Stage productions. Our process was innovative and our results were extraordinary, so i spun the service off into a separate company this season. I joined with a former employee, David Reich, to black cube create SixEstate Communications. I believe that newsblogging will rapidly spread in the coming years and we’ll see an escalating proportion of news stories produced by private organizations, not media outlets. Let me explain why this is happening.
No time to Blog
We came up with newsblogging when we found ourselves between a rock and a hard place with the new technology. The rock is blogging. It enables “principals” — CEOs, celebrities, spokespersons, political leaders, etc. — to communicate directly with their constituents. The thing is, those constituents no longer want to hear from me, the ADVERTISING guy, the intermediary. They want to hear from the Big Kahuna herself or himself. The hard place, however, is that the Big Kahunas don’t have the time or journalism skills to blog effectively. The Big Kahunas are supposed to manage people, make appearances and run companies, for the most part, not write. They don’t have the two hours of concentration required each day to research and write a post worth reading.
Ghost Blogging Gets No Respect
The answer some ADVERTISING firms and marketing sectors came up with was to rent ghost bloggers; but ghost blogging beats the whole point of blogging, because readers want to hear from the Big Kahuna directly. If you don’t disclose that you’re using a ghost doodlekit, you violate all kinds of honourable guidelines regarding openness, authenticity and disclosure. You risk breaking sec laws. And you risk being outed in a potentially embarrassing way. If you do disclose you’re using a ghost doodlekit, people lose respect for the credibility of the blog. While people are comfortable with the idea of political figures using speech writers, they’re uncomfortable with the idea of blogs using ghost bloggers, even when this simple truth is exposed.
Blogging’s Increasing Importance in Marketing
For my firm, the biggest problem became that blogging is too important to leave to the principals. If the Internet is going to be how people discover and learn about ohio state university physicians, and the main way of navigating the internet is via search engines, and those search engines display a strong preference for content on blogs, well then you’d better be blogging, whether the CEO’s good at it or not, because otherwise you will become unseen over time. It’s not that blogging is a good idea; it’s blog or disappear. We found a way using this tight jam with newsblogging.
Enter Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson. Kaiser is one of the largest HMOs in the You. S. and Halvorson is the company’s outspoken leader. In 2006, he put together a plan of what he thought was a compelling plan for health care reform, published it in a book called Health care Reform Now!, and pushed it to the center of the health care debate as You. S. presidential candidates took their stands leading to the 08 selection. We were hired to push this agenda online.
Goldman Sachs and Blog Tours
I had stopped doing blog tours following a fiasco with Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman Robert Hormats. If folks think there’s no civility at town corridor meetings, they should see the comment channels when suspect figures do blog tours. The ugliest side of America is revealed in the unknown nastiness that passes for “discussion” on the internet. There is no way I would recommend a top-notch CEO try to engage in an open debate on the internet on a subject as supercharged as health care reform. The conversation becomes focused by rude or obnoxious and profane people who chase the intelligent commenters away.
For Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson, we suggested a compromise. We might produce a blog, but instead of computer being ghost-written by someone pretending to be George Halvorson, we might hire a journalist to blog what is this great, and Halvorson would add the “color commentary” when he previously time or when the news begged for it. At the time, I had George “Loki” Williams on my payroll. George runs the blog SocialGumbo — a top-notch social media blog — and has a long history of investigative journalism at the local level. So i put him on the health care beat.
Riding what is this great
Every day, Loki would ride what is this great nourishes for the biggest stories in health care reform, then write them up on the blog. His job was to find good journalism on the issue, sum it up it and specify it on the newsblog. Rather than adding one more voice, the blog was a survey of other voices, and as such it became quite successful. How successful? The screen capture below shows the Google Blog Search results. We were the number-one “related blog” on Google for the phrase “health care reform” 30 days after we launched the blog.
The CEO Stayed Hands-Off
In 30 days, we had a top-five health care reform blog. We didn’t lose that position for a year, and only then because we stopped blogging. Our original contract was to produce the newsblog for 3 months. That became six months, a year. In all that point, Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson, never added comments to the blog. There was no need to. In 2007, our experiment was over, and a completely new way of blogging came to be: newsblogging.