The giant street market

An email from James Cherkoff alerted me to yesterday’s edition of Shop Talk, a weekly BBC Radio 4 business programme, in which he was one of the studio guests talking about blogs and blogging.

Together with Adriana Cronin-Lukas of Big Blog Company, Simon Phipps of Sun Microsystems, Azeem Azhar, a writer and analyst, and Heather Platts of Eiflud hand-made toiletries, they discussed blogs with show presenter Heather Payton.

The 28-minute show also included a recorded interview with Tom Mahon, the Savile Row tailor who has had some impressive business success as a direct result of his blog, English Cut.

Some very good discussion in this programme that should help any listener get a clearer understanding of what blogs are and how they can be a powerful business tool. I was especially impressed by Simon’s simple explanations of the benefits Sun gains from employees blogging (great quote from Simon: “you can’t argue with the authentic voice of individuals telling the truth”), and Azeem’s commentary on the value and potential benefits to organizations from CEO blogging.

The programme also illustrates how an effective presenter/anchor is key to an engaging and entertaining listening experience. Heather Payton is such a presenter.

The last word from James (early in the programme, actually) on defining what blogs are – a giant street market. From a marketing perspective, that’s as good a description as any.

The only jarring note was when everyone spoke about the size of the blogosphere – 14+ million blogs. That’s the generally-accepted number in the English-language blogosphere, a number used by Technorati, PubSub and others. Although no one seems to really know, you should add at least 30 million to that for blogs in other languages, especially in Asia.

Nevertheless, a terrific job by everyone to help simplify and demystify what blogging for business is about.

Listen to the programme. That link is just to the current show, so after this week it will be to the next edition. (It’s Real Audio format, unfortunately. If you want to avoid having to install Real Player with its ads, stealing file associations and trying to connect to the net all the time, try Real Alternative, an outstanding free replacement.)

2 thoughts on “The giant street market

  1. You said that we’re all quoting “14 million” feeds? Actually, as of a few minutes ago, PubSub showed 15,942,972 feeds monitored. We’ll be over 16 million in a few hours… My gut, and some really unscientific calculations, tells me that the real number of blogs is probably about 2.5 times what we monitor.
    bob wyman

  2. Thanks for that correction, Bob. So my thinking that adding the ‘+’ sign to the 14 million number would be my escape clause didn’t work 😉
    I should have checked the fig before I posted. And looking just now at Technorati, I see their number is now 16.7 million.

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