Dennis Smith is one of the best examples of a corporate recruiting blogger we have. The man enjoys blogging personally (he says it's in his blood), but he also wants to use blogging to improve the recruiting function at his company.
At an ERExpo roundtable last week, he was astounded to hear a participant state they 'didn't see much value in blogs and that the one's he'd read only talked about the weather and how their day was going.'
Dennis Smith is a nice guy. He's also much more inclined to teach than insult. That's why he offers several reasoned, well thought-out examples of how blogging has made a difference.
Me, not so much.
Here's my suggestion of how to deal with someone who says blog are all people talking about the weather.
You: I really enjoy blogging. They bring a real benefit to my worklife.
Clueless: Blogs? I don't think much of them. What good are they for?
You: Have you read any?
Clueless: Yes I have. The always talk about the weather or how the person is feeling that day or worse yet, how clever all of the other blogs are. What a waste of time?
You: You know, there are a lot of blogs that talk about that stuff. Do you read any business blogs?
Clueless: What's a business blog?
You: Business blogs are written by experts in a field who build an audience of like-minded readers to help promote their product, brand, and or company.
Clueless: There can't be many of those.
You: There aren't. It's just a tiny fraction of the blogs that are out there. In fact, I'd be willing to say that 98-99% of blogs are personal, and only 1 or 2% are business blogs.
Clueless: See what I mean? Blogging isn't worth all the time spent on it.
You: Are you good at math in your head?
Clueless: I'm sorry, what?
You: Are you good at doing math in your head.
You: No matter. I have a calculator here on my T-Mobile phone. Let's do some math. How many blogs are there?
Clueless: I don't know
You: Technorati says there are 54 million. Let's keep the numbers even at 50 million, shall we? Okay - now, let's say 1% of blogs are not talking about the weather. What's 1% of 50,000,000?
You: Did you say 500,000? That's correct. 500,000. Okay, 500,00 blogs that are not about the weather, but talk about business specifically. Now, what percentage of those 500,000 blogs deal with some aspect of business that might interest you.
You: let's say 5%. That would include, Marketing, Recruiting, Branding, Public Relations, Sales, Technology of course, specific industry verticals and of course, competitors who think blogging is helping them eat your lunch, I mean, gain market share. So, 5%of 500,000 is...
You: 25,000. Hmmm, that number seems a bit high. Let's say only 1% of the 1% of business blogs is relevant to you, and only 1% of those is written well enough (and in English) to make it worth reading. So 1% of 1% of 1% of 50,000,000 is...well, it's 50 blogs. so 50 blogs provide relevant, timely information that you could benefit from reading, and which, by the way, helps you filter the 900,000,000,000 web pages and growing that are currently out there. Now, how many of these 50 blogs do you read daily?
Clueless: That still means there are 50,000,000 blogs that are out there that talk about the weather.
You: There are 7-8 billion people on the planet. How many do you know personally? How many do you need to know? Most of those people talk about the weather, but a small number, smaller than 1% of 1% of 1%, are your family, clients, friends, and co-workers. The problem is not that blogs don't reflect your needs - it's you've looked at a few blogs, read a few articles, and declared the whole thing worthless. That's not a problem with blogs, it's a problem with your perception blinding you to potential.
Clueless: So how am I supposed to find these 50 blogs?
You: They self-organize into communities and filter information for you. That's one of the beauties of blogging - other people finding information and filtering it to help their communities learn more. This is why bloggers are smarter, more informed, wealthier, and better connected than non-bloggers. In fact, they are termed "influentials," because they have a big influence on the general population.
Clueless: I guess I have a lot to learn about blogging before I say something foolish again.
You: We all do, clueless. We all do.