Explaining blogs – lighting candles in the wind

I experience a slight feeling of loss whenever I learn that someone has invested in a publicity-oriented web site and has not considered a weblog format.

When I ask if they might consider a weblog format, I get a politely embarrassed response as though I have suggested they put their site on LiveJournal or host banner ads for porn sites.

I stifle a sigh and find myself going into my elevator pitch on the power of blogs to generate to generate real interest among the exact group of people you are trying to reach.

Sometimes I get a flicker of interest, but the usual response is that they are committed to their current site and want to give it a chance.

Since I am not selling blogs or blogging, I don’t press them, but it is interesting to see how many of these static sites never get updated. How do they expect to get repeat visits, if they aren’t e-commerce sites and provide no new information?

I wonder how long it will be before I hear people say, “I’ve just created a new website for my book, movie, philanthropic group, etc. and it’s all done in a weblog format. I’m up to several hundred hits a day now!

Many of the corporate sites I worked on never bothered to measure their traffic. In fact, when I suggested installing hit counters, they generally came up with a reason why that was a waste of time and money. In most cases, hit counters would have shown how poor an investment their sites were.

Comparing a weblog to a static website is like comparing a live display to a printed sign. Both will attract attention when well done, but the live display creates the anticipation of change that will draw viewers back again and again when the messages are worthwhile.

At the present time, weblogs are an amazingly cost-effective way of generating interest in your particular project, in your philosophy, or in you personally.

The force of your personality, or lack of it, comes right through. A weblog is like good PR in that it quickly reveals a lot about you and your ideas. If both are worthwhile, you should use a weblog to spread the word. Otherwise, it may be too revealing and you should stick to a static website…with an unlisted URL.

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