Wheels on the bus go round and round..how this blog thing works

December 11, 2007

Like most bloggers I watch my traffic and see what contributes to views. I’ve been fascinated by how long the traffic related to my posts about the cruise industry problems has continued. I haven’t blogged about Princess Cruise Lines or Louis Cruises and Sea Diamond disaster forever. And of course, these stories have long since faded from the front pages.

But, in the blog world, the stories live on. As a crisis management educator I have long warned practitioners that this is one of the unique aspects of blogwars and reputation management in the age of social media. And now I know why. Because the wheels of the bus go round and round. In other words, I looked at my blog visits and noticed that a continuous level of traffic was viewing the Sea Diamond posts and that I was getting clicks from seadiamondsurvivors.org. This is a site set up by passengers of the ship to keep pressure on Louis Cruises to make changes. My posts about this disaster are linked on the front page of that site. So, I post on a topic which draws some traffic and my post gets linked on a complaint site which draws more traffic to my site, which helps feed traffic to the complaint site.

What remains to be seen is if this kind of traffic has any impact on the policies of an organization. We’ll see if Bob Garfield’s site against Comcast has an impact. But what is clear to me is that bad news stories follow a pattern of:

– heavy mainstream media coverage–in some ways more frantic than ever because of the immediacy competition

– faster disappearance from the front page–because a story a few hours or a few days old has lost its immediacy

– much longer term online discussion after the headlines and breaking news stories have ended.

Don’t underestimate the power of the long tail of reputation management.

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