Like you, I have plenty of ideas as to what makes a Good Blog. I don’t care for the sidebars of stuff that make my computer take forever to load, I think that music on blogs should be banned (because it scares the ever-loving shit out of me when I click on the blog), and I get a little skeeved when the owner is always begging for money.
Having a best friend in marketing, though, has made me notice things I’d have previously ignored. See, when I first started blogging–back when Jesus was my classmate–I had no idea that blogs could be used as a marketing tool. I couldn’t IMAGINE being asked to review something, much less have my audience want to read what I thought about the newest plastic wrap.
But after I started to read OTHER blogs, I noticed that some of the bigger bloggers ran review sites. Curious, I clicked over. It was just what you thought it would be: random blogger giving their (glowing) opinion on something or another. The reviews were unfailingly positive and often kind of dull. It wasn’t the bloggers fault, no, but how do non-marketing folks make the newest brand of paper towel sound interesting?
I mean, shit, I ignore the television commercials, and those cost a fucking ton of cash to professionally produce.
But print media as we know it is (sadly) going the way of the dodo bird, and advertisers have found the next media: The Internet. Especially blogs. Have a problem with a company and have a trafficked enough blog? Send the CEO a link to your scathing review and watch how quickly the situation is resolved. That’s some pretty powerful shit.
It might shock you to learn that I’m frequently contacted by companies asking me to review something or another for their company. I know, I’m just as amazed as you undoubtably are. I can’t believe that someone would want MY seal of approval or be associated with me.
Because I am no doubt VERY MATURE, I do the RIGHT THING and ignore these emails. I just haven’t decided if I should start a review blog. On the one hand, it’s immensely flattering that I’m asked but on the other, I feel enough like a sell-out simply having ads on my blog. I’m not a corporate writer or advertiser, I can’t sell stuff to save my own neck, and more than anything else: I have great pride in my blog and I don’t want to change what I say to conform to The Man.
And, as my friend Trish asked HER blog readers (she was talking about book reviews), because a company gives you a product to review, do you need to give that product a good review? I don’t think that I could. Honesty is more important than hurt feelings and bad press.
So here’s where I pose it to you, Internet (did I tell you that you look fucking hot in those jeans?): what do you think about review blogs? Should your Aunt Becky start one (because of my aforementioned ads, I cannot review stuff here) or would that make me too much of a sell-out? I genuinely cannot decide what to do.
And more importantly what annoys you about blog designs? I’m getting a redesign because I’m noticing a surge of this particular template around The Internet so I’m-a-goin’ custom.