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How SoPo blogs helped the advertisement industry

OK I'm dead tired - been a long day and tomorrow will be too. But here is my thought for the day.

Going back to 2004, when I first started blogging (you couldn't upload pictures to Blogger in those days), blogs were not well known at all. Mention 'blog' to average Joe and Jane in Malaysia, and they would be clueless.

Fast forward to 2009 and 'everyone' has heard of blogs. Even if they have never gone on the Internet, if they follow the news they will have heard of them. But they may not know much about them - in fact, they are most likely to assume that blogs are politically motivated tools for attacking the government à la RPK.

In fact, however, most blogs are written by young (under 25) people, and cover relatively mundane topics such as films, shopping, restaurants, thoughts on life and friends, etc. Politics come very little into them (not to say that the bloggers mostly don't care about politics, but they don't talk about it much on their blogs in any case). For a sample of this kind of blog, check out Nuffang's Innit.

And, something your average Jack and Jill don't know either, some bloggers are making decent amounts of money from hosting advertisements and writing advertorials.

So - how did the SoPo blogs help the advertisement industry, in spite of the fact that most of them don't have ads? Well, this is just a tentative thought, but when you think of it, the main way in which blogs got more well known was via the political aspect – this is what first got noted in the MSM and so on. Later on other types of blogs started popping up in the press too - 'hot bloggers', food bloggers, drug blogger,...

The oldest newspaper clipping I seem to have is from 26 February 2006 - 'Bold Bloggers, Beware!' in The Sunday Star Education section; and Shaolintiger was one of the earlier bloggers to be featured in a newspaper in May 2005. But the first time I remember seeing Malaysian blogs mentioned was after Jeff Ooi was investigated in late 2004 because of a religiously sensitive comment about Islam Hadhari (ironically, it turned out to be a Muslim who had made the comment...) - this story first broke in Berita Harian on October 2, 2004 (more details here).

So in a way the SoPo blogs attracted the attention of the MSM, which generated the publicity which enabled lifestyle blogs to penetrate public awareness and attract attention from advertising agents, etc.

Just a thought...
(OK done my post for the day! :-))