Claridge'sI’m sat writing from the Edelman blogging event this morning with Iain Dale, Richard Edelman, Nick Reynolds (BBC), Kevin Anderson (Guardian), Peter Hirshberg as the speakers. Has not been a good start – it’s been pouring with rain and I was absolutely drenched on the way here. Not really the style of the rest of the people here – plenty of very smart business suits and a very smart hotel – Claridge’s in Mayfair.

Richard Edelman – the nexus is the mix of top down and peer-to-peer communications, and 1/4 of the population in France, UK, USA view a blog once a week. 39% of blogs are in English, 31% of Japanese – quite surprising! Rest of the world is growing faster than English.

Turns out that the main rationale of the event is to talk business between Edelman and Technorati – how the Technorati folks have been working on technological solutions to allow Edelman to better analyse how firms can profit from the blogosphere. It’s interesting enough, but why am I here?

Damn! Technorati & Edelman rank EU Referendum as the 3rd most important UK blog! No! I’m not going to link to EU Referendum though, as that will boost their ranking even more. This ‘Top 10 ‘ list has then started a discussion about whether there is a community of top bloggers or not. I’m really lost here – my blog is just too small fry in comparison.

Media are referencing blogs in the political sphere more than in other fields. This is especially the case in France, UK. Interestingly, Alain Juppé’s blog is the number 1 referenced in the French mainstream media, with Ségolene Royal in 2nd place – see the slide here. People are also quite likely to conduct some form of politcal action after reading a blog.

Iain Dale – might need a concerted campaign of British bloggers in the future, to help protect individuals’ reputations. Nick Reynolds – political bloggers are now ‘in the club‘, have some impact on a small cadre of opinion formers.

Kevin Anderson from The Guardian – there’s no trend in international political blogging. Is that true? Are we not learning lessons from each other among party political people at least?

What should PR people do about blogs? Iain Dale articulates the fears of bloggers on this – bloggers won’t react to a standard approach from a PR firm. There’s a cross-party trust between bloggers.

Back to the corporate stuff. Edelman has been working with Wal-Mart to work out how they can repair their reputation. 25 of the Fortune 500 companies have any coordinated policy towards blogging. Wal-Mart invited the bloggers inside the firm; quite an interesting approach. GE is also apparently interested in blogging – small projects with them, and an openness about what their employees would be allowed to say.

David Brain from Edelman – European corporates are very nervous. Corporates are ‘political parties in power’, but now a relationship between credibility and openness. Blogging implies a need to be responsive. Hirshberg – enlightened brands realise that they have to do something different. Apparently McDonald’s CSR site and its blogs are well worth a look.

Hirshberg – a blogger is responsible to his audience, and those reading will point their finger. You’ll get called as a sell-out. So while I’m here in a corporate event, I’d like to underline that I am still as repulsed as ever by firms like Wal-Mart and Microsoft. I’m here to learn something new, but I do feel like a small-fry outsider. Hope that’s OK… 🙂

Anyway, event is now concluding. More analysis and reflections from me later.


  1. Might well be so! But I can’t listen to the conference and research the truth of the matter at the same time. More on that later today!

  2. It’s a common misconception even in the French media that Ségolène Royale writes a blog. She doesn’t. Her very popular website, Désirs d’avenir is a ‘participative forum’. All the content is produced by her supporters, not by the woman herself. It’s a cunning strategy; everyone thinks she’s communicating when in fact she doesn’t personally have to reveal(or even to say) anything. And Juppé’s blog has been suspended since he launched his return to politics in August. Proof perhaps that French politicians are not as comfortable with the format as your post might suggest?

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