By Michael Conniff
The good news about blogging is that people who hate it—you know who you are—can always reserve the right to blog about why you hate blogging.
But what’s to hate? For the first time since papyrus, everybody’s got a printing press at their beck and call, the better to let the world know why you want to give some so-and-so what-for. Blogging has become a potent force in the worlds of politics, art, and culture. Here in Aspen on Aspen Post, one blog about Sheriff Bob Braudis generated over 150 comments on all nine sides of the argument.
Even blog-haters would have to agree that citizens might have reason to put their two cents online. After all, the word “blog” comes from “web log” and remain a close cousin of the personal journal, where navel-gazers have gathered their thoughts since man and woman took stick to tablet. There is a natural human impulse to want to be heard even if you’re not sure who’s listening.
I blog therefore I am—even if you could care less.
Why would a business want to blog? On Aspen Post, everybody from The Aspen Club & Spa to the Aspen Music Festival and School, from the Fresh and Wyld food delivery service to Zele Café is blogging with sanguine, measurable results. Aspen Post just inked a deal with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) that will bring our blogs to the ACRA web site for Aspen visitors.
The Aspen Club is using the medium for everything from promoting Valentine’s Day to fitness tips and videos from the club’s many experts and trainers. The Aspen Music Fest has used Aspen Post to promote any number of their concerts, but outreach director Deborah Barnekow has also blogged repeatedly about programs that bring artists and composers to local schools. Chef Dava Parr of Fresh and Wyld in Paonia uses her blog to communicate with customers and spread the word about sustainable food. In an innovative twist attributable to Zele manager Lisa Zimet, the café on East Hopkins Avenue is sponsoring the “community interview,” a Q & A with community figures open to the public and meant to simulate the experience of Zele’s own community table, where strangers can meet and converse about whatever is on the table.
What’s the difference between same old display advertising and blogging? That’s a good question because there’s a big difference. Businesses who blog make a big mistake when they try the hard sell so typical of traditional print media because it just doesn’t work. Bloggers are not crazy about hype, but based on our experience at Aspen Post they are more than happy to accept content from an advertiser if it is useful and relevant. Bargains and special deals will also work if they are time-sensitive.
If the content from an advertiser works, we literally link to it from the very top of our Home Page. Bloggers are ready to accept businesses if they are providing information for the betterment of the commonweal—and their customers.
One final point: business blogging is storytelling. A menu from Chef Clark Church at the Garnish Restaurant at the Aspen Club is not going to be worth all that much, but content that explains how he puts food together makes perfect sense for Aspen Post.
As a business, if you blog they will come. What’s not to like about that?
Michael Conniff is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Post Time Media Inc., featuring the blogs Aspen Post, Snowmass Post, Skiing Post, and Fractional Post (all .net); the editor-at-large of Aspen Peak magazine; and the host of “Con Games,” the #1-rated radio talk show in Aspen and Vail. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.