Thursday, April 13, 2006

Listening To The Blogosphere

Dave Gussow, writing for the St. Petersburg Times on SPTimes.com, writes a bit about the flip side of blogging. Most people focus on the publishing side of it. Don't forget, blogs are for listening too.
Josh Hallett, a Winter Haven consultant who has become something of a blog evangelist, says businesses need to understand, not fear, blogs. Even on personal blogs, business is discussed and comments are aired that can affect a brand and its image.

If someone posts a critical comment, a business needs to know about it and how to respond, Hallett said. If there's a positive comment, the business can build on that, too.

"You have to have a thick skin," Hallett said. "And unfortunately a lot of people don't."And that's one of Hallett's main messages to companies and groups: A blog doesn't have to be about writing. It can, and perhaps should, be as much about listening.

"Start reading blogs, do blog searches," Hallett said. "What are people saying about your products and services? If your business isn't on the radar of bloggers, then look at what they're saying about your industry."

Don't forget that much information can be gathered from the blogosphere. Just because some of it might be bad news for your business or your industry, don't shoot the messenger. Learn from it, and then become proactive. That's what we're here for. ghostblogging@veritymedia.com.

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