Blogs, Vlogs and Splogs

Blog, internet, social media, SEO, meta tags, URL. What is a blog, How to incorporate a corporate blog, public relations in business.

The following are examples of a search engine optimization rich URL, specific keywords and phrases that will increase a blogs ranking in search engine’s like Google. By positioning them in such a spot, I expect this post will now get a total of 5 readers (Dr. Freeman, Dr. Fung and Dr. Mason, myself…someone else?)

After reading Mark Deuze’s article “Participation and Media Production: Critical Reflections on Content Creation,” I discovered that there are many variations and motives behind writing a blog. Deuze describes them as, “a networked form of deeply personalized and indeed ever so slightly narcissistic self-expression,” (Deuze, 2002).  I have been the primary producer of a blog for some time now without having actually put much thought or analysis into what other variations are out there. I view mine as a virtual garage, a digital dumping ground and, at times, an electronic resume. Deuze introduces us to the existence of Vlogs, Flogs, Splogs, Spings, Spamdexing, and the act of Blogola. Say what? That’s what I thought too!

According to a survey by PRWeek in the United States about 10% of corporate communicators had a weblog in 2006 and 8% of them were Fortune 500 companies. So here is a quick breakdown of what these terms mean:

Flog: a fake blog, a stealthy way to improve public relations with customers and stakeholders. They have become a marketing tool designed by professional companies or ad agencies to promote, directly and indirectly, certain products or services without being transparent about the corporate-sponsored identity.

Splog: an artificially created weblog in which the author uses to promote affiliated websites to increase SEO. There are an estimated 3,000-7,000 new splogs created each day (Technorati report, 2007).

Spings: are short for “spam pigs” which send automated messages from blogs and other online publishing tools to a centralized network service providing a notification of newly published post or content. This gives the impression that an older post is suddenly new and improved, though it might be dotting an I or crossing a T.

Blogola: is the act of flooding bloggers with free stuff in hopes of flattering them enough that they’ll provide positive coverage in return. Companies will try to tap into the social networking power of the blogger. I believe there are guidelines against this for accredited journalist but not for bloggers. #opportunity

Spamdexing: is a method of manipulating the relevancy or prominence of an article for over-indexing it with an abundance of keywords, meta tags and search items. This way search engines will pick up that article before another that isn’t as thoroughly tagged.

So what impact does this have on the blogosphere? In my humble opinion, it is blurring the lines between what blogs were originally intended to do: publish raw, uncensored thoughts, opinions and position into more of a corporate playground. It is manipulating the open, collaborative, give-and-take framework blogs were created for.

For a look into one of the most fascinating bloggers I follow, visit “Charles Leblanc’s Other blog”.  His original blog was shut down and you’ll see why. He is a journalist without any credentials that pushes his limits with local companies and politicians. It is raw, uncensored and very successful even without proper spelling or SEO. He is the Stewie Griffin of New Brunswick’s blogosphere. Warning: take this with a grain of salt.

References

 Deuze, M. (2008). Corporate Appropriation of Participatory Culture. In: Carpentier, N., Livingstone, S. (eds.), Participation and Media Production: Critical Reflections on Content Creation, pp.27-40. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishers