Bloggers are not journalists. They are opinionists. And in my opinion, more powerful in many ways. In the latest Neilsen Global Online Consumer Survey, more than 70% said they trust consumer opinions posted online...from people they don't know. That's huge. Now, I'm not knocking Katie Couric. Well, maybe I am -- or at least her make-up artist -- what is with all that eyeliner? But the truth of the matter is people believe their peers. Possibly because they feel they have nothing to gain from a complaint or recommendation. There is no intention other than to help the online community form an opinion. Bloggers, reviewers, commenters are the rock stars of the written word. The new pushers. Or as Trendwatching reported in its most recent trend report: the new advertisers.
And they are only going to get more powerful as the mobile web becomes more mainstream. Offering opinion is now, and will become even more so, a way of life. Check out ShoutIt or Yelp for a mobile review app. Here's a review of the review app: http://www.appstoreapps.com/2008/08/16/shout/.
And reviewing is immediate. Twitter is the most acceptable and definite quick source of reviewing available today. As marketers, we should jump on Twitter quicker than you can say "tweet." Forget expensive research, just sit with your brand on Twitter one day. Follow the crowd -- see where they take your brand, what they believe, hear their opinion.