Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at A Slob Comes Clean about my best recovering slob tips , and I’m excited to welcome Aleta from Aleta’s Arty Facts to Resourceful Mommy:
Way back in the late 1990s, Internet users who were in the know became interested in a new twist on the very old concept of the good old-fashioned diary: the weblog.
“Blogs”, as they were known, soon found a myriad uses. In those days, there was rather a sharp divide between web sites and blogs. Blogs were the venue whereby angst-ridden users could pour out their feelings in comfort and security, and blogs-as-therapy is still a popular and valid use: in the television pilot of the BBC drama Sherlock, for example, a latter day Dr Watson is advised by his therapist to use a blog; ‘honestly, it will help’, she tells him.
By the close of the decade, web-savvy business owners were using the blog format to share everything from news and events to product releases, and from the competition’s shortcomings to the latest gossip, with their readership. Blogs provided a competitively priced marketing tool that reached thousands for only the costs of website setup and hosting, without the production costs of traditional print media and conventional post, or the expense of radio and television advertising.
By the turn of the millennium, marketers and publicists were heavily entrenched in the blog sphere, and getting some high-profile (and highly lucrative) corporate customers: old –school corporations that hadn’t gotten aboard the good ship Internet were being urged to get on board in a hurry, or be left behind – and with good reason; web-based technology develops fast, and today’s websites contain a plethora of mixed media of mixed media. Text and graphics are standard on the simplest of sites; sound, animation, video and full blown commercial advertising are quickly becoming de rigueur.
Of course, we also know, with the infallibility of hindsight, that another revolution was taking place: the rise of social media, and although I’ve always found it more than a bit ironic that any medium which keeps one glued to a computer keyboard in virtual isolation is termed ‘social’, the rise of these networks can only be called astronomical.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as the old movie caption goes, the individual blogger was still going strong, posting pictures of her children and Aunt Tilly’s dog, sharing stories of how she got sick of waiting for her husband to fix that shelf and hit her finger with a hammer trying to do it herself, or describing Tiffany’s bout of whooping cough in greater detail than her readers really need. But something interesting happened: these stay at home mothers with time on their hand began discovering the power of the Internet for business. Further, those who used the web to explore and pursue their hobbies and recreation to the point of acquiring serious expertise discovered the same thing that ‘real life’ expert hobbyists do: that with skill and determination craft can be turned into cottage industry, and cottage industry to small business. No longer are blogs just the latest advertising media for au courant businessmen, and a stream-of-consciousness steam-venting medium for housewives stuck in their suburban ruts. Blogs are starting to become big business: some serious names pay bloggers to write about their products. They pay for advertising on well-trafficked sites. They pay for reviews and referrals and clicks and all sorts of things.Think for a moment of Mum, or (Mom, depending on which side of The Pond you’re on) involving every mother she knows at ballet, gymnastics, football, reading sessions, music sessions, the whole PTA, her local book club, the Tuesday afternoon sewing circle, the craft friends, all their sisters, cousins and aunts…that translates into a whole lot of Facebook ‘likes’, and that’s some serious advertising.
Entire blogging communities have developed to explore this new marketing network, and you know that Momma has hit the big time when none other than Forbes describes the rise of the so-called ‘Mommy Blogger) online at…wait for it…their blog.
When a rocket scientist quits his day job to create a blog community start-up, as described in the Forbes article on Blogfrog, well, it’s time to wake up, smell the Maxwell House ® and take notice. And yeah, in case you missed it, that was a Forbes post on a blog.
Aleta Curry is a writer and historian from New South Wales, Australia. She and her husband run the successful web-based business Aleta’s Antiques http:/www.aletasantiques.com.au and Blog at Aleta’s Arty Facts. http://www.aletasartifacts.com
Visit Life…Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!