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April 05, 2005



Reputation networks are important. I live in a small farming community where your ability to do business hinges on reputation - try taking your cattle to the local mart if you have a rep as an easy mark. SO reputation IS everything.

Over the past twenty years major media outlets have ceded some power from their own traditional brand (The Times, The Post) to their chief writers - the Op Ed writer, the big name reporter. But that still means only around twenty people matter in US print journalism. In the blogosphere how many - 3? 4? In the Uk there are probably only ten in print and non in blogland.
That's what you ad advisors are backing. You won't overturn it and make reputation a market commodity like it is down the road from me, but your brand strategies do ultimately rely on far fewer voices than we are recognising here.

steven streight vaspers the grate

Hate to "double post" but I just discovered a nice intellectual business blog, that is going to do a series on "Derrida and the Blogosphere" or similar title, and have invited me to contribute in some way, based on their reading my "Blog Theft. Derrida. Inner Voice." post at BLOGthenticity.

This blog is "Fluid Imagination":

Social networks, blogology, online community, etc.

I also champion what I call "Reciprocal Commenting".

See my new post for more info:

steven streight vaspers the grate

I happen to like NET GAIN by John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, and GONZO MARKETING by Christopher Locke, as good explanations of the new online community network reality and the death of impersonal broadcast messaging.

But watch out for those who wish to exploit and ruin the online communication media, like was done to television, radio, postal mail, telephones, email, etc.

The new opportunities breed new exploiters, manipulators, and destroyers.

You are doing a great service to the blogosphere with this series... but where are all the business bloggers and marketing consultants? Why aren't they coming here and commenting or debating?

Too busy blogging about themselves and their cultish little cliques, I suppose.

Thanks Jennifer for holding high standards in business bloggging and for raising the intellectual bar.

jennifer rice

Haydn, you bring up a great point that was mentioned at the IFTF conference, namely: What is the currency of the grassroots economy? Who's paying, and for what? There was some discussion on reputation networks; interesting idea to have journalists get star ratings (like on amazon or ebay)... it would be your 'trust' rating, and you get paid accordingly. That would provide built-in incentives for journalists and writers to get out into the world, evaluate the story from different perspectives and get it right. Focus on authenticity and transparency. But of course, we get back to the same idea: who pays? Perhaps advertisers no longer pay for space ads; they pay for the most trustworthy stories as voted on by readers (whether positive or negative). Yeah, ok, we're getting into some pretty crazy ideas here... but interesting to think about.


Sorry to be slow coming back to this. My own perspective is from the point of view of somebody who gets paid to tell stories rather than somebody who gets paid to analyse industrial and commercial trends. Twenty years ago I worked on a TV series that gave viewers editorial power. We created 20 viewer groups who proposed the stories we told and the editorial line we took. I see these things coming back. As a journalist I am very keen on them. Media pros have become far too insulated and need to joiin the conversation as equals not as arbiters. It does beg the question how we get paid though. Salaries are down, job security is off the agenda, we find ourselves more obviously serving advertiser interests. How can we join in and maintain the ethos of a fourth estate?

steven streight aka vaspers the grate

Brilliant analysis. This is one of the very few business blogs that I rate as Superior, Intellectual Giant, and Extremely Practical Advice type blog.

There is meat on this blog's bones. And it is very nourishing.

You are a True Blog Expert. Keep it up.

This interview idea is very nice and readable. I'm learning tons here. One of my all time favorite and most recommended blogs, period.


Your notion of "personal and scalable" is right on the money. Great post, definitely food for thought.


strange that no one has commented on this series...

couple of things....i noticed the term networked conversation instead of multilogue...seemed odd given the previous comments in support of multilogue...

i like the balance concept, but believe balance will occur more quickly in smaller businesses/companies. like your sailing captain analogy, the large corporate boats are in becalmed seas and the winds of change aren't quite strong enough to change their course. small boats can change more quickly as they need less wind...possibly, this means we will have a dramatic rise in small to mid-size company business growth...increase investment in those types of mutual funds?

agree that the company that embraces/understands blogging will benefit, but they need to understand the power of networked conversation can't be abused. we all know that a product that gets favorably noticed on a notable blog will receive almost immediate benefit/attention. however, the trick for a blog savvy company is to not exercise the blog for that benefit. like an electron that is being "watched"; because it is being "watched", the electron behaves in a manner not expected. i think the blogosphere will react in the same manner...if you slyly attempt to manipulate it, the effect will be unanticipated and maybe, unpleasant.

so, the company's that benefit the most will be those that are "pure of heart", if that makes sense. as mentioned many times, on many blogs...authenticity is the underlying theme of blogging and the lifeforce of the blogosphere...a bit dramatic, but true...

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