Read now, will blog later: Great piece by Sean Callahan of B2B Magazine on the impact of weblogs on B2B publishers. Excellent overview that I’ll comment on when I come up for air later today. (via Steve Rubel who has some good comments)
Later: A slight clarification on the following paragraph:
Rex Hammock, president of Hammock Publishing, who also publishes his own blog, sees the form as providing a future template for b-to-b media Web sites, particularly in the development of community. “I think what we’re seeing is a recycling of what happened when Verticalnet was around [in b-to-b media],” he said. “They were not a threat. They were an opportunity.”
My reference to verticalnet regarded the point in time when they, because of a psuedo-valuation in the billions and because of the blustery claims of an exceutive there (something to the effect of, “we will crush you”) were causing B2B publishers to consider online ventures as a “threat” or as “the competition.” What I meant to communicate was that blogs are not the competition.
As for my other quote, well, I couldn’t have said it better myself:
Beyond creating specific blogs for narrower target audiences, Hammock believes that b-to-b media executives should study what a blog approach can mean for their Web strategy. For Hammock, the aspect of blogging that offers the most potential for b-to-b media is the ability to create community. Blogs allow comment on stories and not just in a letter to the editor format, but in a genuine dialog not only with the publication but with other readers.
“We as an industry haven’t gotten over the psychological barrier to realize that our readers, the members of the industry we serve, talk with one another,” Hammock said. He said a Weblog can bring the unheard conversations that occur in the aisles of trade shows out into the open.
By creating a blogging dialogue, Hammock said, a b-to-b media Web site can strengthen the community it already provides for advertisers. Plus, a blog that allows readers to post messages is a tacit acknowledgement that readers often know more than editorial staffers about the business. And a blog can be a great conduit for story ideas.