Got this month's EXPO today. In what was an otherwise stellar issue I noticed an item atop one of the pages that troubled me. Since it's not on the web site, I've posted it below:
Want to start a blog for your show, but don't have the time? Consider outsourcing. A blog is a great way to generate publicity, as wella s leads on new attendees and exhibitors, say Ted Doyle, Senior Partner with FuelDog, Inc., a company that recently began developing blogs for shows. Outsourcing allows show management to have a blog, but maintain an arm's length relationship to it, thereby not creating conflict with other editorial products such as related magazines.
While not the stupidest idea I've heard this year, it is the most disingenuous.
Who wants to interact with a blog that doesn't involve anyone on your show staff? Let's say CES had a blog. If someone like Gary Shapiro or Dan Cole was the author, you'd probably read it. But some cube jockey at FuelDog? Why bother.
There's only one good reason to have a business blog - to add to the intelligent conversation in your area of expertise.
Actually, that's not entirely true. There is a second reason: improved search engine positioning. And it seems that once again the folks in our industry are trying to find a shortcut without doing the legwork.
The point about a blog conflicting with other editorial products is also specious. Is synergy too difficult a concept to understand?
Blogs add another dimension and enhance what you're already doing. There is nothing to fear about cannibalization of existing products. That's like saying you can't have a magazine because it takes money out of your tradeshow. And we know that's not the case.
Blogs add to your business. But only if you're adding to conversation in a meaningful way. Alan Meckler understands that. Jon Price gets it. Tim Bourquin is counting on it. Even Dave McCann at Meeting News is figuring it out.
The FuelDog blogs add to the conversation with about the same depth as a PRNewswire feed. There is little or no analysis except for the occasional wisecrack. There is no original thought. In most cases the blog entries simply look like repackaged press releases.
I imagine a PRNewswire feed would be much less expensive.
One of FuelDog's blogs is something called The Expophile. They were nice enough to include TSMR in its blogroll for the Expophile site, although I was suprised to learn we're no longer a blog and have graduated to full magazine status.
After this post, I wonder if we'll still be on the blogroll at the end of the week.