Where journalists go, advertisers are sure to follow–blogs and advertising

September 1, 2006

The emergence of citizen journalists is also triggering a big shift in where ad dollars are being spent. See this article in Brandweek about advertising dollars going to blog sites and other social media.

This is interesting for several reasons:

– only 21% of those surveyed think blogs are “trustworthy” sources of news or info

– the fact that viewers don’t consider them trustworthy doesn’t diminish their value as far as advertisers are concerned

– corporate sites are more trusted–now that is interesting given that the surveys about mainstream media vs corporate-produced info shows a real problem with corporate credibility

But the big question that fascinates me, is what will happen to the big bloggers when the lure of advertising dollars infects them? Will they keep saying just what they think? Will their thoughts be colored by how it will impact advertisers and therefore impact their income? Will their homespun version of journalism be corporatized? Will it trend toward “infotainment”–that phenomenon that has ruined much of journalism at least in my mind (see Now Is Too Late2 for more on this topic).

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4 Responses to “Where journalists go, advertisers are sure to follow–blogs and advertising”

  1. JamesBruni Says:

    You are so right. Citizen journalism is booming. NowPublic now has 12,000 contributors around the global. Only a matter of time before ad dollars follow.

  2. gbaron Says:

    James, what’s your thought about the impact of the ad dollars on blogging? Will it turn them into mainstreamers with all that entails?

  3. Patrick VdW Says:

    Of course, you can look at the credibility numbers for bloggers from a glass-half-full perspective: I would think that 21% credibility for bloggers is probably right up around where the mainstream media is. And bloggers will always have the advantage of being perceived as forthright, even when they’re in error. The veneer of objectivity that the mainstream media are obliged, mainly through some odd tradition, to keep up is what opens them to challenge, but bloggers just charge forward with opinion.

  4. JamesBruni Says:

    Advertisers will warm up to the Blogosphere. By the same token, bloggers will warm up to advertisers.
    Accuracy and credibility are huge issues for any advertiser looking at the Blogosphere. And, “street cred” is the issue for any blogger accepting ad dollars. Many bloggers get checks from Adsense and other blog ad services, but there’s still a long way to go betore you see a lot of ads on blogs.

    I think advertisers are looking for safe alternatives in the Blogosphere. They are not going to advertise on right wing or left wing political blogs. NowPublic and other citizen journalism sites are trying act as “editors” in ensuring accuracy. The best thing for advertisers would be something in between blogs and mainstream news sites, a hybrid like NowPublic.


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