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New Report Says Social Media Creators Have Stopped Creating

When it comes to social media usage, Forrester categorizes the world using their patented Social Technographic Ladder. Creators (23%) are at the top. These are the people who create blogs, upload videos and write articles for the web. (I’m one of those. Are you?)

Right under that are Conversationalists and Critics who exchange info by Twitter, forums and Facebook posts. The majority of social media user fall into the middle of the pack and they are Joiners and Spectators. The difference being that Joiners have social media profiles but they’re not overtly active.

For the last few years, Forrester has tracked growth in all areas but this year Creators hit a plateau. According to their 2010 Global Social Technographics report, despite advances that make it easier, creators aren’t creating like they used to.

Earned Media or Cash Register Ringing? Social Media Says Cha-ching!

Do you think that a bad economy can’t make just about anybody consider anything for a buck? Well, new research shows that the pristine and highly moral world of the bloggers are more for sale than ever before. Of course, I am being just a bit facetious because basically at heart the blogging world is pure and strictly here for the greater good. Rats! There I go again. Maybe there needs to be some research to settle this issue?

Fortunately, eMarketer and IZEA has done that and it appears as if the idea of “earned media” sounds much better as theory rather than reality. Are you really surprised?

Philly Is Not the “City of Blogger-ly Love”

Imagine you live in Philadelphia and you have a blog. You are like about 99.9 percent of the world’s bloggers so you make no money and the blog is a labor of love.

Now imagine that you are going to be charged $300 for the privilege of having your blog start from the City of Brotherly Love. Yup, that’s right, Philly is hitting bloggers with this and other measures. If you haven’t had enough of the government on every level getting into everyone’s business this may put you over the top.

This comes from NBC Philadelphia’s web site:

Taking a step closer to an eerie Orwellian state where creativity is crushed in the name of “the greater good,” the city of Philadelphia is demanding that bloggers pay $300 for the privilege of writing on the Internet.

The Blogosphere is Alive with the Sound of Marketers

While Twitter and Facebook are all the rage with your average internet user, blogs are still going strong in the corporate world.

According to a study by eMarketer, 34% of all US companies have a public blog and they project 45% by 2012. That’s up tremendously from 2007 which lands at only 16%.

“Studies have shown that marketers perceive blogs to have the highest value of any social media in driving site traffic, brand awareness, lead generation and sales—as well as improving customer service.”

The study suggests that there is a larger number of blogs devoted to smaller companies, where larger companies may be lagging due to legal and logistical issues. It’s a lot easier for George to upload an off-the-cuff blog post when he’s the CEO of a two man company than it is for a VP at Procter and Gamble to make his thoughts known.

Only 19% Trust Your Sponsored Blog Posts!

We all know it goes on. Sometimes it’s disclosed, other times not. Sometimes it’s black and white, other times it’s more of a gray area.

What am I talking about? Paid blog posts.

According to Fleishman-Hillard’s 2010 Digital Influence Index (pdf), consumers are wising up to paid/sponsored blogs posts–and they don’t like them!

If you’re given a free sample, only 24% of your readers will trust you to be unbiased. Paid to write a review, that trust drops to 19%.

Still, in both cases, there’s this big area of indecision (61% and 54% respectively).

Of course, it’s one thing to say that you wouldn’t trust a sponsored blog post, but what about in reality? Factors that need to be considered in the real world include:

Oracle’s Larry Ellison Weighs In On CEO Blogging

This week one of the richest and most influential men in business and the world, Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle Systems, gave his opinion on corporate blogging. Well, at least he gave his opinion on one attempt at corporate blogging and it strikes right at the core of some things that the social media and Internet marketing communities claim as near and dear to their heart.

Ellison attacked what many have held up as one of the prime examples of a company creating content through executive blogs and more. In fact, he didn’t just attack it; he crushed it.

This Conversation Brought to You By Six Apart

(Not really, of course.)

Six Apart, owners of the blog-hosting service TypePad, have found a new way to monetize blogs: advertising. Okay, so that’s not new, and neither is the basic concept of sponsored conversations, but the execution this time is a little different.

We’ve seen sponsored blog posts for reviews and pay-per-post models—and we’ve seen them done badly, too. Paid reviews often ended up sounding like (surprise) ads, with or without disclosure. Six Apart’s new TypePad Conversations seeks to avoid that problem—by not having bloggers actually talk about the products.