I met with the boss of a major publishing firm today. It was because I was pitching an old-school printed paper book idea to him. Fortunately he loved the idea, and I loved it even more when he said he prefers books to be shorter rather than longer… though he was thinking of 55,000 words as short. Rather longer than the average blog post.
I asked him about blogs, how his firm might promote the new book online and he did outline the fact that they have quite a sophisticated global online strategy, including some strong media links as well as excellent global distribution for the books. But he did mention something interesting to me – he never reads blogs.
This is the director of a major publisher. Should those of us who blog regularly be shocked or should it be something of a wake-up call?
I hear a similar message all the time in boardrooms across the world: “I read the paper, I watch the TV, but I don’t get any news from blogs because it’s too much hassle to remember the good ones and to return to them…” The same could be argued for podcasts and video blogs. When I tell people that I get a huge amount of my daily news from podcasts they often look at me as if I’m from another planet – yet if I said I just listened to BBC Radio 4 it would provoke no reaction at all.
Blogs are gaining status because of the social networks that allow them to be marketed to a large audience. Prior to the wide adoption of Twitter and Facebook you either used an RSS reader or just returned to favourite blogs regularly.
Now you just follow your Twitter stream and the blogs that matter all come to you. So does this mean that the only people who read blogs are those who also use social media?