The Fifth Estate or The Fifth Column?

February 22, 2006
Shravan Sampath

Traditional Media has often been called the fourth estate, because it keeps a watch on the other three pillars of every democracy: The legislature, the judiciary and the executive. However, in times like this, when the media is a hugely successful industry and most media companies are competing with each other for mind share, it might not exactly be the right candidate to play watchdog.

Blogs, in my opinion, will be the fifth estate. A medium unchained by the rules of the game, driven by passion and paid for by happy visitors, blogs are the ideal candidate to keep watch over the other four "estates".

I think it will be a long time before blogs get corrupted. Why? Because the moment they do, the customer, looking for good, uncolored and timely news would go elsewhere. Considering that there are over 17 million blogs in the world now (and growing), there would never be a dearth of blogs for people to visit. I think this itself would keep blogs sincere for a long time to come.

Blogs are just about to hit the world (and India too) big time. Very recently, Sony distributed 2000 copies of Young Adam DVDs to bloggers, expecting them to sample the product, and write about it. This is not the first time bloggers are being invited to sample products and write about them. At Desicritics, we often get books, CDs and DVDs to review, just so that the fifth estate can be kept in the radar. A new force is rising. Do you want it on your side, or are you just going to ignore it?

As Business School students, most of us have spent sleepless nights trying to apply the famous Kotlerian Four P's framework for marketing, into every other case. Another firm believer in blog marketing, Stephen Rubel, writes about the four P's of Blog marketing:

Passionate - Write about issues that are near and dear to your heart
Purposeful - Make sure you keep the end in mind; why are you blogging?
Present - Keep an eye on what's topical today
Positional - Take a stand on an issue and follow it

I think I have another P to add to it.

Pointed: Get down to the point, and get down to it fast! Web users have not got time to read long winding arguments which might or might not lead anywhere. Studies show that visitors to your webpage decide whether they want to be there or not, within five seconds.

You can find more such opinions here

Shravan is a management student, consultant, movie critic, political critic, and so on. He lives in a suitcase, and moves from one city to another. He also writes at Comfortably numb...
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The Fifth Estate or The Fifth Column?


Author: Shravan Sampath


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February 22, 2006
01:09 PM


Passionate, Purposeful, Present, Positional & Pointed

agreed :) as long as they are not Pissant

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