Readers may think Jane is slightly behind the times with our announcement that copywriter Bob Bly now has his own blog. But, there is a method to Jane's madness, if one dares call it that.
A few weeks ago (those who know the story are already yawning) Bob Bly, copywriter extraordinare, wrote a scathing article re: blogs not being worth the data they serve up, pitting their lack of ROI against his considerable ROI success with Direct Marketing.
Poor Bob Bly. He knew not where he was going. Bloggers everwhere hammered him with emails denouncing his article--and his premise. After all, many of us said (yes, Jane was one of the writers to Bob, though we tried to understand where he was coming from--a position of power, having been successful in direct marketing for more years than Jane can count-- whereas bloggers are still learning the ins and outs of using blogs as advertising or promotional tools in business) -- back to the comments from the blogosphere-- we all called Bob on the carpet, noting that he had NOT done his homework.
Blogging, so many of us said, could easily surpass direct marketing as an advertising tool.
In true professional form, Bob pooh-poohed us. "Show me," he said. "Where's the ROI? Prove your point," he said.
Some bloggers attempted to do just that; to quantify blogging as a business and sales tool. Others told him he was asking for too much, too soon. After all, blogging is still in its infancy. In the end, the bloggers won, in a sense. Because, Bob Bly built a blog! To show bloggers why he's right and we're wrong, of course, but a blog, nonetheless! In fact, Jane will go on the record saying that in short order, blogging is going to roll over direct marketing's ROI like a Chevy truck.
Meanwhile,Jane is thrilled to welcome Bob to the blogosphere. Even if, after a time, he pulls his blog because, like many others he finds blogging a time-consuming task (which Jane can help him with, at our Business Blogging Boot Camp...where we teach businesses how to blog effectively.)
Jane heartily welcomes Mr. Bly today, after others have already done so, because we sometimes saving the best for last works. We expect a good deal from Bob. We may bristle at his writings, we may purse our lips and shake our heads at his assumptions, we may not like the truth he presents (sometimes truth hurts and...truth is, direct marketing works...as Bob keeps telling us), but the vast majority of bloggers will engage him, despite his sometimes ascerbic tone, precisely because of his informed content and his willingness to explore this new medium to see where it fits into his world, if at all.
Mr. Bly, your blog is a credit to the blogosphere. In a future post, Jane is going to dispute some of the issues you brought up in your very first post. But, today, we merely want to introduce you to our readers -- and to say, we'll be watching. We are willing students. Teach us.
What's not to like about that?