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Help! The World’s Been Taken Over By Bloggers

The world is under attack – not from little green men, but from bloggers. Eventually bloggers will take over the world as we know it.

The web is full of blogs and bloggers: an alien mix of opinions, recommendations, tips, tricks and guides. All virtally hanging in cyberspace… waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting reader.

You may think I’m a little mean; likening bloggers to little green men. But there are similarities. Allow me to explain five of them.

1) LGM: We don’t know where little green men come from or what they want from us.

Bloggers: We don’t know where a blog post comes from (by ‘where’, I mean ‘who’ and what expertise/background they have). We don’t always know what they hope to achieve or their aim.

2) LGM: Little green men may attack because they haven’t heard our side of the story.

Bloggers: Bloggers attack people, places, businesses, events and opinions. In most cases, without knowing the full story.

3) LGM: Little green men lie.

Bloggers: Bloggers lie. And we believe them, because the nature of blogging means that they can say anything they want to the big wide world.

4) LGM: We’re not sure if we should hug little green men, or shoot them.

Bloggers: We’re not sure if we should agree with a blogger or shoot ’em too.

5) LGM: We don’t understand the language of little green men.

Blogger: We don’t always understand the terminology of bloggers.

So, my fellow bloggers, should we embrace our alien-natures and send the world bloggers? How do we know which bloggers to trust and which to avoid?

How to test to see if a blogger is friendly or evil

1) Does the blogger use facts and figures from actual sources? Do they provide links to these sources?

2) Is the terminology correct for their topic area? Do they feature other blogs with a similar topic area?

3) How do they react when challenged?  Do they use third party sources to prove their point? Do they give a balanced response with plenty of detail?

4) Do they spend the entire post slating others or do they offer genuine advice and tips?

Any other similarities to little green men? (I’m sure I haven’t exhausted them all)

Any ‘evil’ blogs to share?

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing ( in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing

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  • Lol, nice post Tina. nnnIn my *humble* opinion, a blog is simply one person’s opinion sent out in cyber-space. I don’t think we need to back it up with facts and figures, that it is up to the reader to decide whether to accept those facts at face value or not. If they do then they take the responsibilty for accepting them at face value or doing their own research themselves. nnn

  • Hi Mairead, I only agree with you to an extent, people of course have a personal responsibility when it comes to believing or not believing what they read and hear, but I would say that this is true of any medium, online or otherwise. That said, I do believe bloggers have a duty to back up what it is that they are saying, and prove to the reader that their opinions are well formed in the first instance. Mistakes happen of course, that’s the nature of life but for me that doesn’t equate to have no duty of care towards your readers?

  • Only to a degree Niall. I suppose it depends on what you are blogging about. I still believe blogging is only sharing your opinion, it’s not hard facts, simply your take on something. nnnI suppose because a lot of what I do is about personal responsibility and owning it plus provoking “outside the box thinking” that, I come from a different angle altogether. One thing I ALWAYS do with anything I read or hear is ask myself “what is the other side of this that I’m not being told or shown? How will knowing that affect how I react to that information?” Not a lot of people do that and then are shocked and dismayed at being mis-informed when they really weren’t, they blindly chose to accept, ultimately chose to be mis-informed.n

  • I agree that blogging is rarely hard facts, but I think part of Christina message that even opinions need to be supported. nnYou mention that you always ask yourself “what is the other side of this that I’m not being told or shown?” In other words, you bring a healthy skepticism which is great. nnYou also identify that not everyone asks themselves these questions when reading blog posts, instead accepting what is being said on blind faith. nnWe both agree that this is not a good thing. nnThe result, we can’t or shouldn’t depend on our readers to do that. nnMairead the reader is the exception rather than the rule, hence some responsibility must then fall to Mairead the blogger. This is especially important where a blogger or blog has influence, and where more readers trust what’s said.I have made mistakes in this regard, and will probably continue to do so, but that’s entirely different from me thinking that I am nor responsible or that I am somehow not likely to do so. I have a duty to be able to support in an evidential way what I say.I would also suggest that great out of the box thinking is ultimately down to a person ability to bring together rational from seemingly distant place, and present it in a way that more people will understand?

  • Very valid points Niall. Lol, okay I’ll concede that Mairu00e9ad-The-Blogger does have a certain amount of responsibility towards her audience. n

  • Niall, it is only your belief that writers have a duty to support their claims and opinions. Clearly not everyone shares your belief and while you may make a strong ethical/moral case citing specific examples of alleged abuse there is no law prohibiting the publishing of unsubstantiated opinion.n nIn fact, it is very likely true that many bloggers, like politicians, hope their readers/followers practice blind trust. They either:nn1. Genuinely believe their opinions to be fact and that there’s no reason to question them.n2. Aren’t sure if their claims are true, but hope others will blindly embrace them anyway.n3. Or hope to fabricate controversy and drive site traffic for any number of reasons including fame, notoriety, and wealth.n nI would add that bloggers merely initiate the conversation. Commenters are active participants in the game, and in my opinion equally “at fault”. That is to say, oftentimes they too submit unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

  • Great comment and insights Joseph, thank you for adding to this discussion. nnBloggers are people, politicians are people, and people are often motivated by the wrong stuff, I agree!nnThe danger with becoming influential, whether it’s online or otherwise is that if enough people keep telling you that you’re great or you know it all etc… you may very well start to believe your own BS. nnYou stop asking yourself the right questions, because popularity begins to quickly blind your reasoning.nnI think intelligent human beings realise that popularity is only truly useful in the context of positive change. nnPopularity for the sake of popularity tends to end badly, in that the same people that will believe or follow you blindly are then the very same ones that will turn on you for very little reason. They followed for what you represented, rather than who you were and foolishly you fell for it :(nnI agree strongly with your point on bloggers merely initiating conversation, but perhaps that carries greater responsibility? it is a much more powerful thing to ask, someone a great question than to give them the answer?

  • Seems I joined this party wayyy too late! haha.nnThe broader theme of the post is that EVERYONE is blogging, and it feels like an invasion. The second theme is that of what you actually blog. Now reading back and forth between comments, CSR and ethics do come into play and this really depends of what you’re blogging, and the purpose of your blog/s. As a professional blogging about your subject area – you are the pro, the expert; people read your blogs and learn from them. If what you say is incorrect and you knowingly blog as such, then you are ‘evil’ (context as blog post). nnnObviously blogging is about sharing views and not always about facts exactly, but not blogging something correctly can be dangerous to the reader. It can get to the point that you don’t know who to trust online. Because of the nature of content sharing, everyone can ‘publish’ their blogs. n

  • Blogging has a lot to offer the world, but in turn… it also can be a bit of a plague on us all to have opinions so freely shared. nI’m not a fan of mommy bloggers who make their niche being mean. And there are tonnes of them!

  • Thanks Mairead, and I know she has been taking it seriously,, because Niall the reader has been interested and challenged all the way through. Have a great weekend 😉

  • I’m glad you mentioned ‘Duty of Care’. Due Care theory is part of responsible marketing and similar to Contract View (duty to comply, duty of disclosure, duty not to misrepresent, not to coerce, etc.) – It’s based on the idea that consumers and sellers do not meet as equals. In the case of blogger and reader – the blogger knows something that the reader may not. Due Care View suggests that consumers base their decisions on the expertise of the manufacturer. Soooooo, does the reader base their decision to believe in the written content, based on the ‘expertise’ of the blogger? nnnI believe that we do have a moral duty to write what is correct in our own minds. That we have the power to change someone’s mind, view, belief and knowledge base; and that this means we have an obligation to the reader. This duty also suggests that our readers are vulnerable nto our posts.n

  • Yes indeed. An opinion needs to be supported…if challenged, and if learnt. An opinion that is personal is more difficult to support, but we all have reasons for our decisions and thoughts. n

  • Hi Joseph….The comment in response to Niall above would be worth reading in response to your own.nnnYou do make a strong point about not always realising what we’re saying, and that it may be incorrect. My partner has a saying ‘The best lies are based on the truth.’ You can lie well if you think its not a lie. In digital terms – you don’t see the ‘poker face’ , so it’s much easier to lie or write untruths.n

  • Inbalance of power, unless the blogger and commenter are evenly-matched. nn

  • I’m picking my battles today 😉 nnLots of people blog but not everyone is blogging. I know of course what you meant, in that more and more people appear to be blogging so…. nnAt the same time I would argue that many people that should be are still not. nnI don’t like to generalise, it’s rarely helpful! but I think that these people who should but aren’t roughly fall into three categories:nn1) Those who don’t understand it’s value, lack of education n2) Those who lack confidence, fear that they don’t have something valuable to sayn3) Those who fear getting found out, having to deal with blogging’s conversational nature would risk showing I’m not as good/important/smart as you think I am.nnMy point is that many who blog are blogging for the wrong reasons, I agree (see Joseph’s comment below) And many of those that could probably use blogging in the most positive and effective way, are still not! The question for me is, how do we get them to? nn

  • Don’t back down now Mairead, or did Niall coerce you?! loln

  • Totally @lindsaydianne:disqus .Not a fan either. There’s a fine line between having and sharing an opinion, and shoving it in someone’s face.n

  • Hell NO!!! It’s Friday and I’ve bigger fish to fry! Enjoy your weekend folks.n

  • Thing is as consumers we can just as easily bounce right back off the page and on to some other one.n

  • Sure we can, but if we read something – it sticks. n

  • This is a super post Tina, and the comments are just as informative…. 🙂

  • Glad you enjoyed Catherine!

  • Hi Adriaan & Sian, 

    thanks Sian for doing the interview, and thanks Adriaan for providing such great insight to other businesses on how to tweet for business success! 

    I would like to share with you about the power of FourSquare from personal experience.  I was staying with Sian (minding her furries while she was away) early last summer with my boyfriend, who wanted to take me out to dinner.  As neither of us knew the area well we decided to look for nearby restaurants on twitter- and discovered The Cliff House Hotel, so we set off to find it- again with the help of the map on FourSquare! 

    When we arrived there were no table available in the restaurant as we hadn’t pre-booked but your staff were very friendly and seated us in the bar area- still with great views and we got to partake of the same menu- the food was delicious!  

    If it wasn’t for Foursquare, I’d never have known you were there & wouldn’t have gone that day- and I know every time I go back to visit Sian (next time will be February) I’ll pop by to enjoy the excellent decor, service and food! 

    So please, don’t neglect little ‘ol Foursquare- particularly because of the tourism aspect to it- we did the same when we were in Houston and Phoenix last year- Foursquare is an excellent way of finding restaurants when one is hungry 🙂 

  • Hi Sian, you’re becoming such a wonderful interviewer & well done to Adriaan for letting us see inside their strategy for Twitter. His story about the Pattern Festival and the TV crew is such a great example for what can happen. 

  • A well written and comprehensive interview Sian, well done to you both. The Cliff House Hotel is now on my radar, and I am off now to find them on twitter.
    The tips are great Adriaan, and you certainly are taking the proces very seriously while having LOTS of fun!! 
    Thank you both for sharing a great story, great questions, and great tips 🙂

  • Thanks Helen – I thought the same as you and am very lucky that the hotel is just down the road from me

  • Thanks for the lovely comments Elaine. I’d definitely recommend a follow and a visit 🙂

  • Thanks for the suggestion Claire – always good to know when something works well. We’ll definitely pop down next time you are visiting – I know the way well so don’t need the app 🙂

  • Thank you for the kind comments Niall. It really does help having such interesting people to interview

  • I want to visit this hotel now, Adriaan seems like a nice bloke! They should start a blog I can really see that improving things even more. It’s got me thinking now about who else has used Twitter successfully. I’ve only been reading up about the disaster stories of late – time to be more of an optimist.

  • I’m so glad that came across in the interview as Adriaan really is a “nice bloke” and the hotel well worth a visit. I can’t wait to see their blog too

  • This is a real positive
    interview for the hotelier industry. It shows how power social is
    becoming and how you can adopt it as part of your working life (tweeting
    while serving).

  • Thanks Christina. Have to say that Adriaan is an expert at Tweeting while he works – and you’d never notice. I was just trying to spot who the tweeter was 🙂

  • As a novice, I started following @cliffhousehotel to see how to behave on Twitter & Adriaan is a great example to use. Plus, very generous in terms of his interest in followers and fellow Tweeters. I think Twitter is building a great community in West Waterford. Thank you for the interview Sian (p.s. you are a good Twitter example as well)

  • Thanks for the lovely comment and yes it’s great to see the community building in West Waterford too

  • Wow Sian Such a Wonderful hotel some of the content is good and i really enjoy to read this post and also see nice images. Thank you for share this information.

  • Abartels

    Thanks Clive and Rachel – enjoy keeping in touch with you ‘across the water!’

  • Abartels

    My pleasure, Niall.

  • Adriaan

    Thanks Alex – look forward to welcoming you to Ardmore. Blog on its way!

  • Abartels

    My pleasure Elaine – look forward to welcoming you to the wilds of West Waterford soon.

  • Abartels

    Thanks Claire – Great reply and I assure you that it’s not that I don’t think much of Foursquare – it’s more to do with the time it takes to keep all these sites updated and interact with them – think our next step is to hire a full time IT person! Please say help the next time you are down minding the ‘furries’!! Adriaan

  • Abartels

    Thanks Helen – appreciate your kind comments and your follow. Adriaan

  • Abartels

    Thanks Francesce appreciate our comments.

  • Abartels

    Thanks Christina – #thepoweroftwitter! – we need positivity to survive this recession! And it’s thanks to the likes of Sian who provided the mouthpiece for us to tell the world about how we operate. She was a great interviewer and made it easy to tell my story. Adriaanbartels

  • I totally get that there is a limit to the amount of time to spend on all relevant social media platforms- the great thing about FourSquare is that it requires the least amount of time- just go in and make sure the relevant information is on Foursquare for your venue- and let the people using FourSquare do the marketing for you.  

    They’ll send out alerts to their networks of where they are, even leave tips for other customers about what’s good, take pictures of themselves enjoying the food, and as we found- foursquare even helped us find you to begin with, just by searching for nearby “restaurants”.  For geographically located businesses Foursquare has to be the easiest way to gain social media coverage, with the minimal amount of time invested into it. 

    phew!  That was a long comment!  Maybe I ought to turn that into a FourSquare blog post myself!! 🙂  

    Again.. there are almost unlimited things one could do… if one had the time!! 

    excellent, I look forward to meeting you in person- am over looking after the “furries” again late, and Sian has said she’ll bring me down, seeing as she knows the way I won’t need Foursquare this time 🙂  

  • Yay!! Looking forward to it 🙂

  • Phil

    Well done little sister. Any chance of a discount at the Hotel for a hard up Welsh pensioner?

  • The cheeky brother 🙂 I’ll buy you lunch there next time you’re visiting 🙂

  • Abartels

    Bring your OAP card with you 😉

  • Reflexrox

    Great article…thanks for all the relevant information, its nice to know other people are not using the hard sell on Twitter.

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