Since participating to a couple of bloggers' events and speaking with other bloggers, I've noticed how one of the "hot" and recurring theme of the night is usually the "us bloggers and our place in the world".
In the beginning, bloggers were completely dismissed by all other established medias, and then, after some time, somewhat recognized, and then again, despised by them.
These mixed feelings are understandable, especially if you consider the number of bloggers out there, and it's easy to see how publications/magazines/companies could feel threatened by this phenomenon and wished for its demise.
Except bloggers are growing and getting stronger every day.
So, like it or not, many people in prominent positions and with all kinds of journalism and communication degrees have had to "slum" and acknowledge this or that blogger along the way. All of it, of course, done with repressed disgust and with condescending attitude. But that's what makes it all that much sweeter to me... because they had no other choice. ;)
Another change that has happened because of bloggers: companies have lost that, once untouchable, total control over how their products are presented to the public, and now find themselves at the mercy of these amateurs writers, and have learned the hard way what a bad review from a reputable blogger can do to one of their products.
For this reason (damage control) a blogger friend of mine was approached by a very famous beauty brand (I won't mention any names because I don't want to cause her any troubles, but you can be sure if it had been me, you would have seen that company's name spelled out in BIG colorful letters with fireworks in the background!). While meeting with the representative of this brand I've written about on few occasions, my friend was given a third degree about what her blogging intentions were, what her feelings were toward their brand, and most importantly, she was made very aware how bad reviews from bloggers could be detrimental to many companies and to their products. Nooo, really??
Basically, what this woman wanted to do was meet my friend and establish some kind of "friendly" relationship, to hopefully avoid any future "less than stellar" reviews of their products on her blog.
She then proceeded on sealing the deal by offering my friend a nice swag bag full of products...
All of this got me thinking about the blogging world vs. the established media.
In the past, a company would approach the advertising media and after careful review (with creative directors and focus groups involved) the "perfect ad" would appear on the magazine, on TV, on the billboard, and would say "exactly" what they wanted it to say.
Today, this is what's happening because of bloggers:
The consumer is finally getting an honest opinion about a product and is not subjected to just paid advertising after paid advertising.
Of course giants are trembling!
I think what companies should really focus on is not keeping the bloggers happy/quiet, but putting better products on the market, that way everybody wins.