At the recommendation of our professor I chose to read The New Influencers by Paul Gillin. The reason for my choice is the bane of my existence, the NCH Software Blog. I was a computer science undergrad student and never really considered myself a writer and this never ending challenge of writing for a blog has been one of my largest challenges in my current marketing position. And of course since we are software company I am surrounded by coworkers who are completely unwilling to contribute anything that is written in anything other than C++. But I found The New Influencers to be a very interesting read and I hope to take some of the things I learned and use some of Gillin's insights of the blogging community to help improve our company blog.
In Addition to the recommendation from our professor, Gillin was the founding editor-in-chief of TechTarget, and a former editor-in-chief of ComputerWorld. The forward is written by Geoffrey A. Moore, and the book also comes with recommendations from many well known names including Seth Godin. None of which is anything to sneeze at.
Gillin introduces the book with a quote that he himself made back in 2003 that he is forced to admit how he was completely wrong. He said “Blogging’s wave has already crested, now that millions of online diarists are realizing that not that many people actually read this stuff.” The success of blogs despite the odds is a recurring theme in this book and I found his honesty of his mistake on the topic gave me an added level of respect for him as someone who has thoroughly investigated the topic, and like many of the bloggers he spoke to is willing to bend and admit their mistake when it is pointed out to them by their readers.
Gillin uses case studies and stories to explore everything from the different kinds of blogs to the enthusiasts that write them, viral content, the dangers of ignoring bloggers as a company and much more. I found it to be a very fast and interesting read, and a book I will likely read again to make sure I didn't miss anything the first time through. If you have any interest in learning more about the dynamics of the blogging community, I would strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of The New Influencers.