Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Prediction: IBM will reverse its position on blog advertising sooner than later...

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 12, 2005

By Tom Foremski for Silicon Valley Watcher.com

I'm not too worried about IBM's decision not to advertise on blogs because I'm certain that it can be changed.

Especially since IBM will, sooner than later, realize there is something much bigger going on, and that it has an opportunity to play a large role--maybe even a historic one--in helping to birth the new media.

It would take but a fraction of its massive marketing budget to help the new media sector find business models that work. And those models might look very different from today's models, based on advertising/marketing messages found in newspapers and magazines.

Those traditional messages don't work well in the online world. There is little tolerance for fluff and great value given to substance.

Yes, I would love for IBM and a dozen other companies to advertise on or sponsor Silicon Valley Watcher, and on all the other leading blogs out there. We all have landlords that need to eat.

I would love it even more if IBM and the others left behind the ad banners and advertising hype they use with other media. I'm not sure what they would replace them with, but, that's the interesting part--we all get to figure it out.

For example, what could be done with the online real estate that an advertising banner takes up? I think that space should be treated by companies as a window onto a community, a window of opportunity to provide something of value, even if it is just the time of day.

The blogosphere right now lives on passion and little else. A little of IBM's money spread around would have a tremendous amplifier effect. It would act as a validation of this new medium and draw other companies into advertising or sponsoring parts of the blogosphere.

IBM might even be able to earn a paragraph or two in the history books; that when the media turmoil of the early 21st century started to roil, IBM was one of those that had already stepped in and helped calm the waters, and aided the transformation of the old media sector into the new media sector.

History books...or not? That is the question IBM faces. imho.

Please see: IBM decides no blog ads...

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