I love this idea from hugh of gapingvoid in his summer puddles post: The idea is that blogs are cheap and they’re easy and that scares ad agencies because they’re in the business of selling you stuff that is neither.
But he also points out:
The more I think about this line, the more I think it applies to A LOT MORE industries than just advertising.
A lot of us make good livings selling expensive, specialised stuff that in future will become easier and easier to replace. And the way Society has educated and socialised us will make us and our children completely unable to respond effectively.
There’s a good chunk of the middle class that, although certainly nice people, hard working, reliable and whatnot, are not particularly bright, creative, or too fond of original thought, nor taking risks.
This class I see being bled white over the next few decades, as their niches dry up like summer puddles.
Are blogs the thin end of a wedge that lowers the price of everything? It’s not impossible. Blogs are just cheap websites (compare an ordinary blog to the lame, overpriced attempts of big companies to develop the same look and feel, such as this one, also linked to by hugh.) The success of a blog online has nothing to do with the amount of money invested in it (the usual way to differentiate your brand from another).
But where is the link beyond that? Blogs aren’t the whole economy. But they could be. Think of Byron’s Clip n Seal, sold via blog. Think of how ideas, tips, products and collaborations spread via word of blog. Think of how thousands of people are inspired to create online tools etc for free because of the blog community’s support. Think of how traditional media are quivering at the realisation that their combination of news delivery and advertising is being undercut by the online world. Any of us in a ‘specialised job’ must know that the game may be up.