Wall Street Blogs: Wise or Waste of Time?

Here is a blurb from MarketWatch’s Weekly Roundup I just got:

Writing on the Wall: Bloggers come to the Street, but is anyone reading?

By now you’ve heard just about all you can take about blogs. You know, the amateurish web sites that the media keeps yabbering on about, but no one actually reads. See full story.

Writer David Weidner is not as judgmental as the headline reads. He points people to the good, the bad, and the future of Wall Street blogs. If you are interested in the genre you might want to check it out.

Old School…

Today, Scoble pointed to Haydn Trumpets and their Student Trumpet Blog.

When I was in the fourth grade, I joined the grade school band and started playing a Holton B flat cornet. It was the same instrument my mother played through in grade school and high school.

(The cool local connection is that Holton plant is located in Elkhorn, WI and is the oldest instrument maker in the country. One more cool connection – parent company LeBlanc is located in Kenosha, WI. I always though the all these Wisconsin roots for musical instrument companies was interesting.)

Anyway, the next year there were so many people playing trumpet and cornet I got moved to baritone. I ended up playing baritone all the way through high school and college.

Tip for the kids: Learn trombone, it is way cooler…

And one more thing…

I was reminded of one more ironic quote in the WSJ piece.

“You hire some bloggers to come in , and you give them a list of 10 talking points, and it becomes nothing more than a spin machine,” says Todd Copilevitz, director of digital initiatives for Omnicom Group’s Tracy-Locke. “Those are ultimately going to be derided as sellouts or as commercial.”

This should have followed his quote:

Mr. Copilevitz should know something about sellouts and commercialism. At Richards Interactive, he was heavily involved in the Raging Cow Debacle in early 2003, when Dr. Pepper/ 7-Up enlisted young teen bloggers to speak favorable about their new flavored milk product. This upset the blogging community to the point where some called for boycotts of the product since there was no disclosure that these bloggers had a relationship or been briefed by company or their agency.

If you are not familiar with the whole Raging Cow thing, there is a great summary at Business Blog Consulting that includes an interview with Copilevitz.

Again, can we find better sources?


I was returning to normal. Blood pressure was falling. I thought I would be back to blogging in a day or two.

And then I saw the blogging article in the Wall Street Journal. It is titled Corporate Blogging Get a Chance. I saw some people referencing it last night and I made sure to find it this morning.

Let me start by saying that this article is under the regular Advertising column that runs in WSJ. BLOGGING IS NOT ADVERTISING!

Vespa gets alot of ink in the article:

In a move that runs counter to current popular notions of how the so-called blogosphere ought to operate, Piaggio Group, the Italian manufacturer of Vespa scooters, intends to launch two blogs written by U.S. Vespa owners. Piaggio views the blogs as extensions of traditional scooter clubs, in which enthusiasts of the vehicles gather to discuss issues and ideas, says Paolo Timoni, chief executive of Piaggio USA.

Did you catch the ‘intends’ part? Piaggio is a client of Cooper-Katz and is working with Steve Rubel, the current Superman for corporate blogging.

So, Rubel got Piaggio a huge PR placement in WSJ for SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T EVEN EXIST YET!!!!

Attention Journalists: I would be more than happy to talk to you about companies who are actually blogging now. There are great stories out there about things that are already happening.

Again, this is not about Steve or Piaggio. That is just a firm serving a client.

It’s the hype and the media is reporting as news.

I’ll be off for a few more days… 🙂

Fed up.

I think I am a little fed up with the whole blogging scene right now.

The cover article in BusinessWeek did nothing for me. The cute blogging format, the same stories we all know, Rubel’s first step to blogging sainthood. If I see Stoneyfield Farms get mainstream media ink for their incredible blogs one more time, I am going to scream.

Then you have Scoble deciding to take on Ballmer. Please. Why would he put his employer in a position like that? Either he should have waited 24 hours to see if he still felt strongly or the power of his pulpit has gone to his head.

It may be a little quiet here over the next week as I clear my head.

Don’t worry. I still love blogging. I think it is an incredible tool for businesses. And RSS rocks.

I just need less hype.

Great Thoughts

I was looking through the BizLinkBlog today and notice I have not posted two links from the same site. While there are only forty or so links, I find it pretty amazing, because it was not intentional in any way. It just proves there is alot of great stuff being written out there.

BizBlogDirectory 2.0

We are going to try the BizBlogDirectory again.

I was introduced this morning to a new service callled Stikipad. It is still in beta, but Jonathan was nice enough to let me give it a run.

I lost the old directory due to spammers, but there are a couple of cool features built in to stop that.

So, please get in there and add your business blog. And try out a cool piece of software!

Trying to get back

I have been very busy in the real world and in producing content for others in the virtual world.

Let me send you to some of the stuff I have written for others this week and I promise I will be back next week with my thoughts on the world:

  • I have been working on educating 800-CEO-READ readers about tags. I have posted three in a four part series (one, two, and three). I am trying to get some standardize on the tag used to reference business books. If you find interesting content and use del.icio.us or Technorati tags, use businessbooks. I plan to use it to plan interesting content into the 8cr blogs.
  • I wrote a post for Business Blog Consulting about the great blogging article in The Wall Street Journal this week.
  • I am still posting links to the BizLinkBlog. I am pretty really selective, so you will probably see one or two links a day.

The BizBlog Directory coming down

Spammers have completely taken over the BizBlogDirectory. In the past, I was able to combat it by bringing up an old version of the page and restoring it. So many spammers have put crap on the page that the good version of the page has dropped off the list.

It was an experiment that served as a resource center for about 100 business blogs. Thanks to everyone that participated.

Here are two great lists of business blogs I have run across recently:

Marketing Blogs from Business Blog Consulting
Businesses that Blog from ProBlogger

Lesko is blogging

Loyal reader Pat sent me a note this morning that Matt Lesko has a blog [Matt is a fellow Marquette alum that I linked to a couple weeks ago].

What I find interesting is that he talks about starting the blog to fight bad press he has been getting. Mark Cuban has talked about this and recommended it to Chad Pennington. I think it is the reason that Boeing started their blog. Their message wasn’t getting out with the gallons of ink that Airbus has been getting.

More companies are going to start seeing this as the reason why they should start blogs.

Blog Business Summit – Monday

I am attending BBS for the next couple of days. Here are my thoughts on the morning.

Robert Scoble gave the keynote. Here are two important points.

First, he makes the point that stories are bubbling up from the blogsphere and into the mainstream press. He mentioned that many SEA tsunami stories made that move in a day or two. I loved this quote – “If a product sucks, people will know in 24 hours”. This has huge implication for companies.

Second, he talked about pitching to A-list bloggers. He says there is no problem pitching the big guys. Consider pitching the people he reads. He says when he seeing five bloggers talk about something he knows something is up.

I have no idea what Marc Canter and Chris Pirillo were doing on stage. They were filling in for someone who couldn’t make it, but I have no idea what they were saying that was of much use to the audience.

Molly Holzschlag gave a building traffic pitch that covered alot of basics. She liked that she talked about options for things like comments and trackbacks. What I missed where some convictions about what business should do.

I had a great lunch with Erik Hansen. I met him at the Re-Imagine Summit and it was great to talk more.

Steve Broback and Glenn Feishman gave a interesting talk on monetizing your blog. Their answer is ads, whether it be Google or direct sponsorships. They were really talking about entrepreneurs writing about what they are passionate about and using AdSense to get paid for it. I think they missed the option that bloggers can be hired by companies to write about their passions. That is another way to get paid for what you love. I have some experience there.

I couldn’t sit through “Picking a Platform: Blogging Engines Compared”. I chatted with Evelyn and Scoble instead.

Halley and Stowe ended the day with “True Voice: The Art and Science of Blog Writing”. My thought here is that more people are writing more than they ever have in public. People need to get thicker skins and stronger convictions. I totally agree with their idea – “If you write more, you will become a better writer.”

More tomorrow.