A big turnout 
  Originally uploaded by servantofchaos

For those of us who are involved in blogging (or broader social media) from a business or professional perspective (here some of us are enjoying a Friday morning coffee at Single Origin), it has been surprising and not a little frustrating to find Australian brands and businesses actively resisting the opportunities presented by social media. For while social media tends to have an aura of "danger" for brands or can be considered to be the personal diarizing of the great unwashed masses, smart marketers are reaching out to their customers directly and with great effect. And perhaps, this week will see a change in the social media landscape here in Australia.

For a start, we are seeing the flow-on effects from the global financial crisis, with businesses indicating that their advertising spend is likely to drop. This will mean even greater scrutiny over marketing budgets and promotional efforts in the year ahead (or as I suggested recently, it’s not time to cut through, but to cut out). This bodes well for social media based efforts where long term brand engagement, trust, preference and recall are staples.

It seems that this sentiment is being echoed in the wider business community — with both B&T and Smart Company giving some serious prominence to blogging. B&T not only announced a redesign of their website, but followed through with a revamp of their magazine where they feature an update on Julian Cole’s list of the Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs. Not only do they list the Top 50 (where I am proud to be included at #2), they also devote space to an interview with Katie Chatfield and David Gillespie. This represents, in my view at least, a significant change in the attitude of one of the local advertising industry’s leading publications. I look forward to seeing whether we can move towards the sort of roundtable discussions we had with AdAge in New York earlier this year.

Similarly, SmartCompany have a great article on business blogging. Brad Howarth interviews Steven Noble, Jeremy Mitchell and Trevor Young who discuss:

  • Small business blogging
  • Getting started with blogging
  • Five tips on content

The article is wrapped up with a list of 15 of Australia’s best business blogs. There are some excellent blogs listed (even a couple are new to me), but all worth checking out: