As you know, I am a big fan of blogging. Blogging is a terrific way to build your personal and corporate brand as a knowledge broker, which is my term for someone who writes or speaks on the interests, needs, or problems of a customer segment. Key to a successful blog is authenticity. This brings us to the subject of “flogs”.

A flog is a fake blog. In effect, a flog is a joke or more likely a staged or paid for advertisement disguised as a blog. Flogs are sponsored by companies to create interest for their offerings, while positioning the interests of the audience as an after thought.

An infamous example is described by Wikipedia: “Walmarting Across America was written by two Wal-Mart “fans” who decided to travel across America in a RV and blog about the experience as they visited Wal-Mart’s along the way. While the two people actually did travel across America for the purpose of this blog, it was revealed to be paid for by Wal-Mart.” This flog actually backfired for Wal-Mart with readers becoming angry at the ruse. They protested openly on the web and it turned into a public relations disaster for Wal-Mart.

A credible blog must be authentic. I recommend that they be written in the first person, in plain English, and must address topics that the readers care about. The blog’s purpose is to help, inform, or entertain the reader; admittedly, the blogger hopes to build a constituency with the readers, but that is the blogger’s reward rather than the purpose of the blog itself.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.
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