Published on: May 6, 2009by Kate McMahon
Content Guy’s Note: The blogosphere is sort of like an alternate universe, a place where people are living different lives, exploring different interests, and voicing their concerns and passions about a wide range of issues – and much of this focus is on the stores, products and services with which MorningNewsBeat concerns itself on a daily basis.
While I read the business sections of 20-30 newspapers every day to get a sense of what’s going on – and how the media is covering it – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to peruse all the blogs and social networking sites relevant to our coverage. So it is with great pleasure that I introduce a new voice to MorningNewsBeat – Kate McMahon, a former writer and editor with Money magazine and the NY Daily News, who also brings the additional and invaluable experience of being the mom of two terrific kids. On a regular basis, Kate will be writing about what people are talking about on the Internet and adding her own unique perspective to our ongoing conversation.
Swine Flu, Susan Boyle, Nutella: Three hot properties on the social media circuit today.
Yes, you read that right. You’re up to speed on the first two, but Nutella? The Italian creamy chocolate hazelnut spread?
Welcome to the wildly unpredictable world of social media, where the term “go viral” applies to much more than the Swine Flu.
In a recent listing of the most popular Facebook pages, Nutella ranked No. 3, just behind President Barack Obama and Coca-Cola. The Nutella page was created by a fan, not the manufacturer, Ferrero USA. And it’s just one example of how consumers are making their voices heard on blogs, vlogs, Facebook pages and through Tweets on Twitter.
That’s why MorningNewsBeat.com has assigned me report on the blogosphere, and more importantly, what it means to retailers, manufacturers, and consumer product companies in today’s economy.
We’ve all shared our opinions on the most recent multi-million click YouTube sensations, from frumpy Susan Boyle’s stunning performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” to the stomach-turning video prank by a pair of Domino’s employees in Conover, N.C
But across the country and the world, computer screens and cell phones are lit up 24-7 by “communities” sharing opinions on consumer products, food and recipes, health, coffee, tech innovations, computer games, parenting, the stock market and more.
This column will be checking the pulse of social media sites that impact the MNB reader universe, and will be seeking your input for Kate’s BlogBeat as it evolves and appears every other Wednesday.
At the top of the list will be the burgeoning “Mommy Blog” world, where mothers turn to share parenting tales, post thoughts and videos, and review products ranging from Huggies’ Pure & Natural premium diapers to Ford SUVs. Blogger Anne-Marie Nichols calls it “the electronic back fence” and it has empowered its passionate users to be heard loud and clear.
Just ask the makers of Motrin, which found itself in a “Twitter Storm” over a “baby wearing” ad posted on its website seen as likening baby slings to pain-inducing fashion statements. Within hours the “Motrin Moms” had mobilized on Twitter, posted clips on YouTube, called for a boycott, and eventually forced Motrin to withdraw the ad and apologize.
This column will also be culling the shopping, health and food blogs, from the entertaining foodgoat.blogspot.com to the encyclopedic foodbuzz.com, which allows the reader to search 1,001,900 posts from 8,382 food blogs.
And it’s no surprise that one click yields 1,561 results for, you guessed it, Nutella.
Kate McMahon can be reached via email at email@example.com .
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