Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blogging is also about branding

Recently, Daniel Tunkelang wrote a blog post about why he was blogging. In a nutshell, he considers blogging to be fun and highlights how it can increase the "reputation capital" of the blogger. Daniel Lemire made a follow-up, stressing the networking benefit of blogging. I very much concur with both views. On the other hand, while blogging, both bloggers do not shun away from expressing their thoughts and opinions on various topics ranging from enterprise and blog search to peer reviewing or the benefit of pure theoretical research, through opinions on a search engine such as Duck Duck Go!

Such perspectives and opinions are not only informative and valuable to readers like myself, but they are also extremely important for various organisations. Indeed, according to an article on the BCS news website, blogging is very important for brands. The article quotes Rachel Hawkes, co-founder and editor of the Social Media Portal (SMP):

Blogs provide an opportunity for a two-way interaction to take place between business and consumer. This allows customers to provide 'incredibly valuable' feedback on how the brand is doing in the real world, which can help guide improvements and sales strategies.

The above scenario is one of the motivations for the opinion-finding search task that we have been investigating in the TREC Blog track since three years. The task addresses a search scenario where a user aims to uncover what the bloggers/consumers are saying or thinking about X. If the "user" is a business, and X is one of its products, then “taking the pulse of the blogosphere” is very important for this business's branding. In fact, the opinion-finding task can naturally be associated with settings such tracking consumer-generated content, brand monitoring, and, more generally, media analysis. Findings and insights gained from 3-years of the opinion-finding search task at the TREC Blog track will be discussed in the furthcoming TREC Conference (18-21 November 2008), held in NIST, USA.


Daniel Tunkelang said...

Iadh, congratulations on the getting the
2009 TREC blog track approved! For all of the reasons you describe, I think blogs have already become and will continue growing as a critical means not only for publishing information but also for catalyzing conversation. It's great to see the IR community recognizing their importance.

Unknown said...

I also agree that blogs are a particularly important data source.

Anonymous said...

I must add: please don't consider blogs as large collections of text. They are a view on open social networks.