James brings up the question about whether there are Irish blogging consultants and it got me thinking like many of the posts that James makes .
My take on blogs and business is that they are going to become inevitable and with them come marketing scum and every two-bit cowboy consultant who will declare themselves experts at blogs.
Aside Alert: [This reminds me of the time I was working with a friend to build a website for a client. They hired in a marketing company who excelled at websites. They told the client that he needed a database backed website for his hotel because the pages would load faster and they also told him that if he wanted a .ie domain he had to buy the domain name and also buy every url from it from the domain registry. They also told him every page had to be submitted to the search engines and not just the main site url. That company got close to six grand for that consultancy work. I think they went bust eventualy. Hopefully anyway.]
Anyway, I would hate for business blogging consultants to be like them, but like splogs I think we can guarantee that we will have scum muscle in on this area and screw over innocent companies. Right now this isn’t happening but I know blogs will become more of a buzzword in 2006. So let’s try and prevent this.
Why not create a vendor neutral site about business blogging in Ireland? Have all of us in the blogging world in Ireland work on an FAQ via a Wiki and produce something that helps a business understand blogs and how they can be useful. We can also work on a code of practice that people can sign up to. A quality mark one could say. It will also help us share tips with each other so that we ourselves can improve our skills from the technical, to how to sell it to business people e.g. finding the simplest way to have a non-technical manager see why it is a good thing.
I don’t think there is any giving away of secrets by working as a community and creating this online resource (and keeping it up to date). There’ll be enough work to go around I should think and it is good PR for anyone that is seen to be genuinely helping out people. “Don’t want to pay me to help you? No problem, have a look at this site for advice on how to do it yourself.”
The money is going to be made by those consultants employed by companies too lazy/busy/non-technical enough to do it themselves, which I bet will be the majority. Hell, I was too busy/lazy to update my blogging software and Michele was kind enough to do all the donkey work but at the same time I would have happily payed him or anyone else a few quid (not a fortune) to do it for me.
So, who wants to sign up for this? 🙂
EDIT: To clarify, marketers are not scum, just a few, like in every other profession. Unfortunately I trust marketers less.
This is all well and good, but many businesses in Ireland put up websites years ago, and have yet to update them since. Blogs are interactive, and only work if you do update them. I’ll bet most business will feel;
I think its a good idea Damien – count me in. Brandey you make a good point but I think its all about education really and eventually not having a blog (or whatever blogs become – ie. regularly updated websites with RSS feeds) will not be an option.
Not a bad idea…
Ed Byrne is already working on this on his wiki, http://www.bdmwiki.com
As I said on James Corbett’s site though, the thought of a ‘blogging consultancy’ makes me think that we’re in the days of Bubble 2.0. Blogging is another service that lines up alongside the likes of an Adwords strategy or a press release, it is part of an overall communications strategy, but not a stand alone service for a lot of companies.
Making people aware of blogs and blogging as a business tool is one thing, but actually getting them to do anything with it is another.
We host thousands of websites for businesses of all shapes and sizes, yet it is only a tiny percentage of them who proactively use their sites effectively. If we were to check how often they actually updated them it wouldn’t surprise me if the number was incredibly small.
As Piaras says, blogging is just one part of an overall strategy.
There seems to be some confusion about what I was saying so I’ll clarify. I’m not really concerned about making money or the business model for making money out of being a blogging consultant. People can make money from selling ice to Eskimos and I’m sure they can get business people to blog.
My issue is that people who are marketing themselves as experts on SEO, online marketing, domain registration, graphical design and anything else they can foist on someone to extract more money from them is going to also latch on to the latest fad which is blogging.
Just like we saw the massive buzz around WAP (remember that?), we’ll have the same for blogs. What I’d like to see is those that blog now here in Ireland write something on blogging, what it can do for a business. what it cannot do and what commitments are needed to blog. Basically something that says “Don’t believe the hype” and a guide for those that want to do more.
I’d much rather see sites without blogs than sites with shitty, fake or blank blogs which may give the impression that blogs are a waste of time or are just more marketing crap designed to fool people.
I have been seeing a number of blogs lately advertising themselves as Bogging professionals. Maybe you need to establish a professional blogger association?