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Blogging and viral marketing – Part I

October 28, 05 by Bharani

An entry for Bloggers Park contest, IRIS, IIM Indore

A month ago, Timothy Draper of DFJ, a famous Venture capitalist firm, visited ISB
Campus. It was during that time that I realized an interesting information. That Timothy Draper was one of the key members instrumental in coining the term “Viral marketing”. This term refers to the now-famous “Word of mouth propogation” effect. The “Word of mouth effect” is a deceptively simple concept with a super-natural might.

While the conventional media like Television, Radio, Newspaper has a mass-reach, the message conveyed through these media doesn’t reach the hearts of everyone who reads/watches/hears the advertisement. But if someone close to you, someone who you know, someone who you rely upon says about a product or news, the message reaches your heart straight. Straight as light rays! The Benefits doesn’t end here. When you have registered a message in your heart, the message doesn’t stay in your heart. It reaches your near-and-dears, their near-and-dears and so on…The snow-ball effect, geometric progression, gathering momentum are all perfect analogies to illustrate the effect. The practice of employing this phenomenon for marketing is called “Viral marketing”.

The face-to-face conversations, telephone and emails served as tools for “Viral marketing”….but the companies were still exploring for a more effective tool. A tool which will provide the ‘personal touch’ along with the snow-balling potential.

During the same time, Blogging as a hobby was gathering popularity. Weblogs shortly called as ‘Blogs’, are online journals where people can write their opinions, publish their life stories, share their feelings and experiences. Blogs unlike a website or a news portal doesn’t have huge readership. The reader base is small, but the reader base is incredibly LOYAL. The blogs which reside in Internet, an ubiquitous medium, also became a victim of the snow-balling effect. The following report from Technorati portrays the current situation of growth in blogs. As of July 2005, approximately one blog was created each second…


Moreover, the blogs are inter-linked with each other. For example, Blog A might have links to Blog B and Blog C. Blog B might in turn have links to Blog D, E and so on. This created an intricate network of bloggers..

Thus, Blogging became the next BIG THING in internet world after e-mail. Companies began to think “Why not use the blog as Marketing tool?”….

To be concluded

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