/Blogs, social networks and the buzz economy

Blogs, social networks and the buzz economy

Very interesting article by James Torio about the blogosphere and the conversations in this field about commercial products. Torio starts his article explaining that the human being tends naturally to talk and tell things that, 2 out of 3 times, are personal things: about ourselves, about people we know or, more interestingly, about what we consume. This statement, which explains why TV programs like Salsa Rosa are so popular in Spain, is clarified afterwards when he recalls that some speak more that the rest. And then he turns to another author, Malcolm Gladwell, to define three different types of people, which are actually the most talkative ones: – Connectors: they are those people who have lots of acquaintances and do keep in touch with all of them. They are known in English as ?public relations?. – Mavens (a Hebrew word that means something like ?expert?) are the experts in some field, the ones we turn to when we have doubts about that topic. For example, when it comes to buying a car, there is always someone who buys all the magazines related to the topic and who knows more than anyone else. – Hubs (aka ‘leaders of opinion’) are those who enjoy talking about the products they consume. They normally are famous people that become real leaders among their fans.Torio also explains the reason why these groups will gain importance:- There are so many adverts that, despite not paying anyattention to them, we are more receptive to their contents.That?s why the companies that want to send messages have to find new ways and basically have their own clients to talk about their products and brands. I.e., they need to end up resorting to viral marketing or buzzing techniques. This is what Al Ries defines as the connector?s (or public relations?) victory over publicity. – Blogs multiply their influence. According to some studies, a message spreads more widely after being mentioned in a blog by one of these types of people. And especially when they are hubs, because they tend to create pure social networks around them. What?s more, Good says that many hubs have become famous thanks to their blogs. We?ve got some cases in Spain: Microslaves are leaders when it comes to technology (or even other topics, after a bad buying experience at Ikea) was published); Enrique Dans has got a great influence as far as businesses are concerned (and day after day also in relation to other topics, since he always talks about what he buys); Miguel Cuesta, my colleague, (Dirson) is an expert in bots; Nacho Escolar is a leader in political opinions and Juan Varela is the fashion consultant among the media. Some companies are starting to pay attention to what they say. Some months ago Nokia made an experiment: the company handed out its last invention to some Spanish bloggers. Nokia managed to create an opinion, but it forgot to include in the experiment some of the most visited blogs (for the next time, we recommend to have a look at our blogs? ranking to chose those bloggers who have a greater influence). Vodafone tried something similar with Enrique Dans, who could use the BlackBerry for free. This tendency will increase and it will also make some people feel remorse (should I criticise those who have given me their products as a present?).