Blogging has been around since the late 90s, back in a time when I was just getting used to using a pager and a cellular phone. It went by a different name also, pioneers called it as personal homepage, a web diary or a weblog. It was only in 1999 when Peter Merholz accidentally created the term blog by deconstructing the word weblog (web log) and adding a human element into it – WE BLOG! People liked it and soon everyone was using the term blog.
This then opened up a market for the creation of more blogging platforms such as Blogger and Live Journal, and soon social networking sites with blogging features such as Xanga came into the scene as well. Followed by Friendster, MySpace, Second Life and Multiply.
It was not until 2002 and during the rise of “Mommy Bloggers” when companies started looking at blogging differently. Google launched the blog advertising service AdSense to monetize blogs the following year which then gave way for the creation of more blogging platforms such as WordPress and TypePad. Microblogging and other social networking sites that offers blogging features are also on the rise.
In 2009, I posted my first personal blog using the now defunct social networking site Multiply which gained traction in the late 2000. At that time, the blogging community here in the Philippines was in a rapid state of growth. Aside from Mommy Bloggers, we saw the rise of niche bloggers who delve on various topics like Music, Movies, Fashion, Politics, Parenting, Food, Travel, Lifestyle, Beauty, Tech and many others.
Mine was a hodgepodge of many things but basically wrote about people, events and places. I also did reviews on food, music, gadgets and films.
As my blog gets populated with posts and readers (subscribers), I decided to migrate my contents to more authentic blogging platforms – Blogger and WordPress. And in 2011, rainCHECK officially entered the blogging community. I then joined blogging contests and got invited to various blogging and media events.
As blogging gain more popularity, blogs, with the help of progressive social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, became new media and bloggers with huge following turn into influencers. This also prompted traditional influencers and celebrities to launch their own blogs. Brands and PR companies began to recognize the power of blogging as a marketing tool to get their personal message to a wide range of consumers effectively, most importantly the digital natives (millennials and zoomers).
PR companies call this as “Influencer Marketing”, a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement using influencers, people and organizations who have an expert level of knowledge or social influence in a certain field.
However, Influencer Marketing is not a new thing, it actually predates social media and even radio or television. It’s an age-old concept that is being applied over and over again using effective platforms that are available right now.
Blogging is here to stay! The trend now is slowly moving towards the direction of video blogs or Vlogs. This has been going on for years already but the written blogs remain to be king still.
The pandemic of 2020 showed us the importance of blogs and vlogs as a new way of life – a main source of information and entertainment. But as with any technology, there’s always that side that is undesirable – and with blogging, it’s the “Fake News” or the dissemination of wrong or malicious information online. We’ve seen the immense power of fake news in the hands of an “influencer” and this is where both audience and creators should critically work hand-in-hand with right now.
On the business side, for companies and brands to rebuild after this crisis, bloggers and influencers will definitely play a strong part as an aid to their visibility marketing efforts. Forward-looking companies who aims to survive and thrive in the new normal are partnering with credible bloggers and influencers as early as now to get ahead.
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