I'm up here in Napa having a group blogfest and it's been a great time so far. It's fun to meet folks that I've only known through the blogosphere. Everyone is excited to talk about online communications and explore how we can use this new tool to make our companies/brands/executives successful. Here's the big point that I preached in my opening session - it's way too early to draw lines in the sand and criticize each other - meaning other bloggers, PR firms, etc. For this vehicle to succeed as a communication tool we need to work together and demonstrate "blogging best practices" through our actions - writing about best practices and setting policies won't do it alone - we need to do it through our work in the blogosphere, however that may take form. And the folks here that I've talked to agree. I have a few fun stats and soundbites to share from the day. There are more lengthy posts from Neville and Anita (and probably others that I haven't seen yet) about the sessions if you'd like to read them.
Statistics from Elizabeth's opening remarks:
- Every 3 seconds a new blog is formed
- 27% of internet users read blogs
- 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators
- 12% of internet users have commented or sent other materials to blogs
- BUT - 62% of internet users don't know what a blog is
Shel made a great point in his session about using blogs as a crisis communications tool:
"You cannot manage a crisis with rational statements - even if they are correct" (hence the value of a two-way communication platform like a blog to provide timely updates during a crisis)
That's all for now...
Update: Another New Comm Forum post from Eric Schwartzman