Michelle Sullivan Communications

The state of the blogosphere according to Technorati: 2009 edition

Technorati has unveiled its annual report on the state of the blogging world. 2900 bloggers were surveyed. Half of the respondents were based in the U.S.A.

Details of the report will be disclosed over five days, according to the following subjects:

Day 1 – Who Are the Bloggers?

Day 2 – The What and Why of Blogging

Day 3 – The How of Blogging

Day 4 – Monetization And Revenue Generation: Brands in the Blogosphere

Day 5 – 2009 Trends: Political Impact of Blogging, Twitter Usage

A few revealing stats on this first day of the unveiling of the report:

• Two-thirds are male
• 60% are 18-44
• The majority are more affluent and educated than the general population
•  75% have college degrees
•  40% have graduate degrees
•  One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
•  One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
•  Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
• More than half are married
• More than half are parents
• Half are employed full time, however ¾ of professional bloggers are employed full time.
• 86% have been blogging for at least a year.
• About half of respondents have written blogs before the one the one they write now, as have 60% of the self-employed.
• 35 percent of all respondents have worked within the traditional media as a writer, reporter, producer, or on-air personality.

Yes, Virginia, it would indeed seem that it is possible to blog AND have a full life. Or a busy one, at least.

UPDATE: Day 2 of the report is now online. I’ll continue to add links above through the week, as results become available.

Blogue Bixi: Shirley Steinberg met du vinaigre sur la plaie

Le faux blogue À vélo citoyens! continue à faire parler de lui, en cette journée de lancement du Bixi.

Cette fois ci, c’est la prof de McGill, Shirley Steinberg, qui me déçoit. Elle se moque allégrement des internautes et fait preuve d’un mépris étonnant sur les ondes de CBC radio.

« Santa Claus at the Mall doesn’t exist! (…) Get a life! »

Mme Steinberg traite ceux qui ont le sentiment de s’être fait prendre par ce blogue fictif et de sa page Facebook de naifs, qui auraient intérêt à retrouver leur sens de l’humour.

L’animateur a terminé l’entrevue en avouant ne pas l’avoir trouvé drôle, lui. Moi non plus. Nous parlons ici d’une question de confiance brisée. De se moquer ainsi des consommateurs n’est pas à notre avantage, en tant que profession. Et je parle ici autant de la campagne de Morrow Communication que des dires de Mme Steinberg.

Mme Steinberg prétend qu’il n’existe pas de code de déontologie gérant les médias sociaux, jettant ainsi une image de cowboy sur toute une pratique.

Je pense qu’elle connaît mal les médias sociaux et l’univers des blogues. Elle ne connaît certainement pas le code de déontologie de la Société québécoise des professionnels en relations publiques (SQPRP) qui dit:

Tout membre doit s’astreindre aux plus hautes normes d’honnêteté, d’exactitude, d’intégrité, de vérité et ne doit pas sciemment diffuser des informations qu’il sait fausses ou trompeuses. Les membres ne doivent pas soutenir de prétentions exagérées ou faire des comparaisons injustes, ni s’approprier la paternité d’idées ou de déclarations d’autrui. Tous les membres doivent éviter une conduite professionnelle ou personnelle qui jette le discrédit sur eux-mêmes, la Société ou la pratique des relations publiques

J’espère seulement que les Montréalais ne prendront pas les dires de Mme Steinberg comme étant représentatifs de la façon de penser de toute la profession des communications, ni la campagne marketing de Morrow Communications comme exemple de ce qui se fait par tous ceux qui exercent notre profession.  Mais quand nous parlons de cas sensationnels comme celui ci sur les ondes du CBC, je crains le tort que ça puisse faire à notre profession.

Je crois à la transparence et à l’intégrité. Je crois au code de déontologie de la SQPRP. Je dois être une grande naïve, moi aussi.

Sur ce, je dois vous quitter. J’ai une autre invitation à envoyer.

Morrow communication : l’invitation est lancée

Suite à la lecture de la chronique de Patrick Lagacé, j’ai invité les dirigeants de Morrow Communications et de Stationnement Montréal à se joindre à nous pour le prochain 3e mardi | Third Tuesday Montréal. En même temps, j’en ai profité pour faire la promotion de YULBiz.

Pourquoi? Parce que j’ai l’impression qu’ils ne nous connaissent peut-être pas.

Et non, pas pour faire ma baveuse. Uniquement dans le but de continuer à faire mon possible pour m’assurer que tous les communicateurs montréalais sachent que des ressources existent pour ceux qui cherchent à s’initier dans le monde des médias sociaux.

J’espère être en mesure de faire leur connaissance et de mieux comprendre pourquoi ils ont cru bien (ou du moins nécessaire) de lancer une campagne d’astroturf … de faux blogue. J’avoue que je ne comprends pas leur réponse à FailCom qui déplore le choix d’une stratégie de faux blogue dans les commentaires d’un billet.

Ils répondent ainsi:

Le blogue n’a jamais été un faux blogue. Tout ce qui y est écrit est d’intérêt pour la communauté du vélo à Montréal. Il n’y a rien de mensonger dans l’information qu’on y trouve. Nous avons toujours voulu être respectueux de nos lecteurs. C’était, bien humblement, la seule façon qu’on avait de vous intéresser à notre projet et il semble qu’on ait réussi. Des milliers d’adeptes du vélo comme vous nous ont suivi sur notre blogue. Nous en sommes heureux. Il fallait qu’on attire votre attention et ce n’était pas évident dans cette jungle du web.

Bon. Il y a plusieurs façons de réagir. Personnellement, je suis de l’avis que ce n’est pas en se lançant des insultes qu’on puisse encourager l’adoption des meilleures pratiques. C’est en se tendant la main et en dialoguant.

Ma main est donc tendue. J’espère que l’invitation, faite respectueusement, sera acceptée.

J’en profite pour remercier l’IABC qui fait la promotion des 3e mardi | Third Tuesday Montréal auprès de ses membres. Je serais bien contente si, un jour, les autres regroupements de professionnels en RP et marketing acceptaient de faire pareil, et ce sur une base régulière. Nous profiterions ainsi de toutes les ressources mises à la disposition de la communauté.

C’est la réputation de notre profession qui en sortirait gagnante.

MAJ: Pour préciser et ainsi éliminer toute possibilité de confusion: j’invite les dirigeants de Morrow Communications et Stationnement Montréal en tant que participants, et non en tant que conférenciers. Notre conférencier du 19 mai est Jean François Codère.

Pitching to « mommy bloggers »

I’ve participated in a panel discussion on pitching to bloggers at PodCamp Montreal. I’ve sat through a similar panel at PodCamp Toronto, and listened carefully to Kim Vallée’s presentation on women in social media. I’ve had countless conversations with bloggers who fit into the ‘mommy blogger’ or ‘women blogger’ categories, online and at different events I attend. Now, I’m gearing up to put all that invested time and research into practice with a blogger campaign that reaches out to (among others) this dynamic and powerful blogger niche.

Suffice it to say that I try to do everything I can to ensure I’m well versed on the subject. One thing I’ve learned over the years … largely by observing the mistakes of others … is that mommy bloggers can be a force to be reckoned with and are definitely not to be underestimated.

In my ‘travels’ I’ve come across a great blog post that all PR consultants should read, courtesy of Pierce Mattie PR out of New York and L.A.

Why should you care? The blog post answers this $100 000 (or is that billion dollar) question:

Shannon: Why do you feel that PR firms and various brands are pitching mommy blogs and placing more value on them than the average niche blog?

Erin: There are many reasons-most of which have to do with stats. Women control .83cents on every household dollar. Women are now the heaviest web users. Women are turning off the TV and putting down the magazine in favor of being online. Women are the best word of mouth advertisers in the world.

Jenn: Two reasons: First: Moms do the majority of the household spending and are the ones who are going to go out and purchase most of the things that we are being pitched. We are the ones who are making most of the house hold purchases. Secondly, many women/moms look to each other for advice and recommendations on products before they buy. I will definitely take the word of a mom blogger I trust over any pitch, advertisement or branding tactic that comes my way.

Elizabeth: Moms often make everyday purchasing decisions for wide variety of items and aren’t limited to a niche. With growing children, they will be making kid related and household purchases consistently over a long period of time. Additionally, moms are perceived as people who will talk to their friends about products and the reach is extended.

A new blog for my blogroll and words of wisdom from mommy bloggers to be applied to my upcoming initiative. I’ll come back to this campaign in future blog posts.

Mumbai to Montreal … and back to Mumbai

Taj hotel, Mumbai, the day before the terrorist attacks

I left a beautiful city in the early morning hours of November 26th, Mumbai time, and landed in Montreal to learn of its devastation. My last evening in Mumbai, at the end of a month-long trip through India, included my usual stop at the Taj hotel and drinks at the Leopold Café. As we walked together late that evening through the streets which are now riddled with bullets, I remarked to my travelling companion that it was impossible to feel nervous in Mumbai. The nights are too humid, the streets too clean and the atmosphere too relaxed. I imagined returning to the city in a few years with my now two year old nephew and mused that Leopold’s, established in 1871, would surely still be standing. Ironic thoughts, given the current climate.

While I’ve followed the developments in Mumbai on television (mainly through CNN) and online, my most compelling source of information has been Twitter, which has provided me with leads to investigate and links to blogs to read and Flickr photos to peruse. Through Twitter, I’ve read individual stories and learned of tragedies, including the deaths of two waiters at Leopold’s. Twitter provided me with a link to the list of the dead, names which mean nothing to me, behind which are faces I may have crossed a little over a day ago in the streets of India’s financial capital. Twitter has been used to provide information on where to go to donate blood, and to engage users in political and social discussions which have the potential to mobilize, build bridges or cause further division.

I’m not alone in the realization that Twitter has become a critical source of information about this crisis:

ulceaston: #Mumbai Just got USDOS travel alert email: »defer travel to Mumbai for at least 48-72 hours. » Gee, how timely. Amazing:Twitter’s THE source.

sampad: #mumbai This unfortunate event has led to the rise of social media and true Citizen Journalism. People are collaborating like never before

fourthwall: Tweeting the terror: How social media reacted to Mumbai http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/27/mumbai.twitter/index.html

randyhall: @enobytes People were (are) using # mumbai tags in Twitter to track goings-on with the attacks. Attacks suck, Twitter as news media, COOL.

startonomics: wht a change…i hvent even opened Rediff for current news since ive KNOWN #mumbai in twitter…a small revolution 4 me here..

Imagine Twitter as a channel for all the water cooler conversations that can happen on any given morning. There is fact mixed in with a heavy dose of rumour and misinformation. While Twitter cannot be trusted as a reliable news source, necessarily, it is certainly a powerful communications tool for those who are able to provide first-hand accounts of a situation, as well as for anyone with an opinion on any given subject.

I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but it bears repeating that Twitter comes with search capability, so it’s easy to plug in key words for issues which interest you (ex: Mumbai). The hash tag (#) is often used by multiple users to ensure that their comments are followed by those interested in the topic, so the #mumbai code is prominent in the tweets I’m following. In the last 90 minutes or so, there have been over 1200 tweets which include the word Mumbai. That’s a lot of content to skim through, but I’m doing it because Mumbai is a niche topic that I’m interested in, much in the same way others may be interested in following conversations which mention knitting or american politics.

New Twitter resource for you to check out : Popacular, a virtual warehouse of popular websites mentioned on Twitter.

India was lovely, but memories of my visit are now tinged with sadness, and the sobering reminder that life is short and precious.  It’s good to be back in Montreal, blogging again and uploading photos from my trip to India to my Flickr account.

 

Update 28/11/2008 14:36: Excellent articles from Michael Arrington of Techcrunch and Mathew Ingram on Twitter as a news source in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.