Blogactiv Director

Over the last week, the EU blogosphere has been shaken up by a report by Waggener Edstrom, a Brussels based consultancy. There has been a reasonable degree of coverage of it (here by me and here for example), some was critical (here and here for example) and some others seemed more non-plussed (here).

All nice stuff – our cosy little world has been awoken a little.

But there are lessons to be learned about communicating in the blogosphere (any blogosphere) and specifically this one where most of the major contributors know each other.

My main takeaway from the episode is that while it may have needed a lot of resources to prepare and release the report, there has been surprisingly little follow up from Waggener Edstrom. In his defence, John Jolliffe did respond to the most critical of the posts (by Eurogoblin) but I can’t find his thoughts anywhere else.

Since blogging is all about conversations – something often investigated by Mathew – it seems odd that W-E didn’t involve themselves in more of them. As Mathew often reminds us, the EU blogosphere is a great example of trying ‘herding cats‘ with so many languages and locations involved.

A bit of self-defence is understandable, but that isn’t the only conversation to have. There were – after all – some positive posts as well. They would have been great places to engage in the debate.

One must presume that if they plan to assist clients (corporations and NGOs I guess) in the blogosphere, they will need to be genuinely involved. The real chance to prove themselves was while we were all discussing them!

So, Waggener Edstrom – Where Are You?

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  1. Absolutely agree – and all credit to John Jolliffe for engaging with me after I had torn into his report. What would have been best, however, is if they had engaged in a conversation with euroblogs whilst they were compiling the report.

  2. Good point. Yes, quite right. Perhaps for the next one? Which of course presumes that they feel the first one was worth replicating…

  3. Stuart and Eurogoblin – we’re definitely still here. It’s been a fun week – since our launch event the conversation has kept us on the edge of our chairs and maybe once or twice under our desks 🙂 We didn’t think it was necessary to respond to each and every post or comment, but instead dipped in when we felt it made sense and warranted a response. Personally I think there is a fine line between becoming the story and letting the conversation develop to showcase the reason we worked on the study – the growing influence and importance of blogging in Brussels.

    We agree that it would be great to add in interviews and consultation with eurobloggers as part of the next report, I think it’s fair to say there are a lot of directions we can take it. No promises at this stage, but we’re really keen to build on our first Brussels study.

    But before we do, there is still a huge job to educate organisations on the role that bloggers play – working as a new business guy I see more RFPs and briefs from companies than the average comms pro – and I think you’d both be frustrated by the number of well-known companies that continue to discount the power of digital comms, particularly in Brussels. ;

  4. Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for replying. I can imagine you have been busy – lots to read? We in the eu blogging set are nothing if not verbose…

    I think without expressly saying so, you are hitting on the new problem of corporations and organisations online: exactly how do you manage a brand in the web 2.0 world? We all know that Mathew covers some of these issues elsewhere on Blogactiv, but it is a tricky topic to broach.

    Certainly, I think that most ‘social media experts’ (of which I may or may not be one!) wouldn’t be able to give definitive advice either.

    I agree with Eurogoblin that the reply to his post – the harshest there was I think – was balanced, thoughtful and well made. And to be fair, some of the other remarks would have been harder to answer constructively.

    Best wishes,


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