Tuesday, May 15, 2007


We read today about the The Lulu Blooker Prize is the world's first literary prize devoted to "blooks"-books based on blogs or other websites, including webcomics.

It comes on the back of many news articles on publishers chasing the blogshere for new authors, content and fresh thinking. Can we now expect the blogshere to soon resemble the slushpile? Are we merely moving from one pile to another? We those who fail to get attraction still be able to live on the ‘long tail’? Will Richard Charkin be offered a book deal on travel and architecture?

The question is whether the blogs will be written by bloggers or people wanting to get attention and promote their longer works. Viral marketing can be a minefield to most but to the savvy social communicators raising their profile is not difficult. This begs the question whether the best content gets to the top or whether it’s those with the biggest community or hits.

A few years ago I was invited to a conference with top BBC managers to discuss strategy. The event wasn’t a small event and I found myself alongside other outsiders with considerable and different media input and thinking. I felt like a traditionalists in my open collared shirt and chinos as the others were aged between 16 and twenty-something, wore their street clothes and had little respect for Auntie and the rules by which she played. They told the executives about the internet world in which they lived and what the BBC needed to do. Interestingly, the BBC reacted, listened and many things that were discussed have impacted on their subsequent strategy. It was a brave approach but a wise one. These executives just didn’t understand what was happening around them.

The people at the edge of this space often are multi dimensional in their content and thinking and will use video, voice, and words to get their points across and market themselves. They may not even use the Queen’s English or care about correct grammar. They certainly live outside of the printed book dimension and offer much to our thinking.