John Batelle has posted part three of a four-part post on conversational media over on Searchblog that caught my eye. I linked to the first part here a while ago, where I, uh, proclaimed it was all “about economics (ad revenue) vs. relevance (interactivity/user content).”. Still applies. But back to part three, it’s a very long post that at first explains the origins of Federated Media, and how scale, quality and safety are the three pillars of this new enterprise that groups quality blogs/ conversations and intermediates them with advertisers. He goes on to show how Wired magazine clued into the fact that advertisers want to join in and be part of the conversation with their readers, and how later Adsense made strides harnessing many advertiser messages and relevancy using their algorithms. Sidenote, the BoingBoing blog asks its readers if ads are ok. Coincidentally, I did the same thing two years ago for MoCo Loco in a post called… “Relevance vs. Economics” and got the same answer from readers (yes, if the ads are relevant). And then examples of advertisers that actively participated in conversations with their ad concepts and succeeded. All superlative examples of relevancy. There’s a lot to chew on, but in essence Batelle sums it up nicely by saying “when an [blog] author approves a company to advertise on his or her site, they are, in essence, inviting the company to join that sites’ conversation.”… ie., and stay if you have something relevant to say.
What it means: What isn’t explicit in the Searchblog post is that this can all work because quality blogs have brands of their own, they are acutely aware of the relevancy:economics equation. There are now 65 million blogs out there, blogs are literally you and me, the brand is us. Innately, we all know that relevancy is the only real currency in the conversational economy. It’s a delicate balance blogger and advertiser, ignore it at your peril.
Full disclosure: MoCo Loco, thus the author of this post, is a member of the Federated Media Graphic Arts Federation.