Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Feeling a Little Blog

I have a little blog. If you are reading this, you have seen it. Not a lot here, a thought or story once a month or so -- ramblings, mostly. I have two friends that have completely opposite takes on blogging. One blogs every day. Every day. I am not sure I even think every day, much less gather those thoughts and write them down for the world to comment on. His blog is insightful, funny, snarky, smart. It is his goal to write everyday, part of his routine to wake, eat, brush teeth, jog ... and blog. He shares huge portions of his life with the public at large. On the flip side, my other friend thinks blogging would put too much of her life on display; even if the blog were about things other than her, she believes it would always come back to her interpretation, mind and heart, and expose too much. Funny, her Grandmother journaled and those journals were eventually made into a book - a blog in hardback?! I fit right in the middle. I blog when I want, and hope people read it and find a nugget to take away. I neither market it to the masses or keep it hidden ... it simply exists. I feel there is nothing wrong with any of these approaches.

I spent today at the World of Whirlpool as a guest of Jenn-Air appliances and Digitas, a digital branding agency. It was a bloggers' luncheon and a chance for the Whirlpool corporation to show off its new Chicago facility and get a buzz going in blog land. By the way, WOW, as they call it, is quite apropos. With the exception of me, they invited big-time bloggers, industry-leading bloggers, blog gods (small "g"), even. I expected a room full of smelly hipsters sipping chai; what it turned out to be was a room full of ladies: professionals, moms, singles, and everything in-between. Being the only guy there, I stayed at the back of the group and tried to blend in with the Whirlpool employees. I stuck out like a sore thumb. We looked at each brand in the Whirlpool family, snapped pictures with our smart phones, tweeted, re-tweeted, ate a fabulous lunch, learned about invisible stains, which seems a bit of an oxymoron but has apparently plagued mankind since creation, and asked lots of questions.

Now, here is my take on the event. I think it is grassroots marketing at its finest. Peer-to-peer is the best way to sell your brand -- in the old days we called it "word of mouth." One of the ladies in the group summed it up with a great comment concerning the purchase of an Induction Cooktop. "I need a friend to buy one first," she said. Advertising is great, but we all want someone we trust to tell us it's OK. I looked back over the Twitter feed from the event and saw the conversation that had already started ... induction, stain removal, home brew laundry concoctions. I would also venture a guess that at some point these bloggers will do what they do and blog. There was no hard sell, no "But wait, there's more" gimmick. What a great idea, to pull the curtain back at Oz and let people see what you have.