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September 06, 2006

The Power of Blogging & Search – Lessons for the Entertainment Industry

By Li Evans

If there ever was a week for the entertainment industry to get a wake up call about the power of the internet, search and blogging all wrapped up into one great big bouncing ball, it’s been this week.

The power of the internet sent the news of Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin’s death, around the world in a bazllionith of a second. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a celebrity death take a hold of the entire blog-o-sphere like Steve Irwin’s has. From search bloggers to Aussie bloggers to ordinary personal bloggers – everyone’s blogging about him, I doubt that Steve could every have comprehended his true reach to the world, and it’s tragic that this is how we find out just how many lives the exclamations of “Crikey!” and wrestling with crocs truly touched.

Just to give you a grasp of just how far the reach is, Technorati is reporting over 34,500 mentions in blog postings for the term “Steve Irwin”, its #1 for today (September 5, 2006). Also ranking in the top 10 on Technorati’s top searched term listings are the terms “Irwin” and “Crocodile Hunter”. Digg’s “The Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead” has over 8,400 diggs and over 700 comments attached to the story and is the site’s most popular “dugg” item of the week so far. The 2nd top story on Digg is about the Bandwidth this story is sucking up on the news websites, just showing the viral affect this story has had, and also just how much people have come to rely on the internet for their news.

Not to be lost in the news of Steve’s death, Rosie O’Donnell is still making waves with her blog, too. Rosie, I have to admit, is one of those few celebrities from TV/Movies that is actually clued into Web 2.0. She has a blog, she updates it frequently, even has advertising on it. She also has a Flickr account and incorporates it into her blog.

Rosie’s boss, is apparently clued into the power she wields here on the internet too. Barbara Walters was quoted in Newsweek as saying, "I didn't like the blog. I'm counting on Rosie's intelligence and sensitivity and humor. This is, after all, an entertainment show. It is based on people who like each other and are having a good time, not on people who are arguing and unhappy." Rosie was blogging about the show’s promos earlier – and with the way the internet can carry things faster than a drop of a queue card, and with the reputation of “The View” on the line – I can understand Walters’ concern.  I think I’d be really concerned if she HADN’T said anything about O’Donnell’s blog. 

Lastly, the essence of not understanding search, viral impacts, and just the search industry in general is “The Donald” himself. I blogged about the issue with Trump.com over the weekend, as of this morning, Google and Trump.com must’ve worked to get some things fixed as the snafu of “levitra|cilalis…..” is now gone if you look up “trump” on Google. Thanks to technology though, Threadwatch.org has screen shots – and those will likely end up having a life of their own.

I wonder how many times Tom Cruise has done and “ego search” on Google? It might behoove him to – “TomCruiseIsNuts.com” is #2 for his name. It’s little things like this that turn into huge issues for PR folks. It’s also goes to show even more the entertainment industry has a heck of a long road in front of it in grasping just how much search and blogs affect their reputations and even their livelihoods.

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