Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

The Blogging Bermuda Triangle

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His prices are Insane etc

A little while back, Steve Clayton, aka the Geek in Disguise, spotted an article in The Times listing the world’s (alleged) 50 Top Business Bloggers and noticed that the vast majority seem to be based in the States. He got a bit of a discussion going and even had some sage advice for blackmail victim Lord Browne. Steve certainly is correct that that Top 50 cited here are mostly US-centric and this is very depressing. Surely Brits have if anything a disproportionate amount of gripes, thoughts, libel and insight to spew across the net? Or even just satire?

‘Top 10/20/100/whatever’ lists make for great copy but are deeply misleading because they compare apples with oranges and oranges with PlayStations. If you consider the different purposes of what are being ranked it gets complicated. Any major US blog is going to get many more hits (and be easier to find with some, uh, quick Googling) so appear to be much more important. This is also problematic because number of hits is a crude measure of popularity –which is rather different than influence. Chat (Life! Death! Prizes!) outsells Prospect by over 10x but the latter is read by policymakers rather than people who collect Iceland vouchers and smoke counterfeit Lambert and Butler. But all that aside, why did so few Brits turn up on the leader board?

US firms, including many top names, have a much longer history of allowing (and even encouraging) blogging. Success breeds interest and people around the world are naturally curious to hear the opinions of those working in and around the world’s largest firms in the world’s largest economy. That said, there are plenty of large or at least interesting firms here employing people with plenty of experience to share and controversy to provoke.

Still present national tendencies toward deference, polite silence, privacy and an instinctive, tabloid based fear of media misrepresentation combine with time pressure and the sheer size of the Anglophonic Gorilla across the pond to discourage and hide UK business bloggers. As blogs are used more and more as a point of reference as well as conversation, this means that unless the UK speaks up and out debate and perhaps real business activity will be distorted through an American lens. People, get talking!



Written by pilotlight

06/07/2007 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Blogging, Business, Web 2.0

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