“Part of the support network for any emerging industry, should be the presence of the bloggers”.
I’ve been blogging for almost 15 years, from the early days of Blogger.com, and long before it had the widespread presence that we find on the internet today. Way back then it was just a fun thing to do…. share an opinion, give the news, have a say. It’s developed over the years into a useful and powerful tool for both providers and customers.
Nowadays there are multiple blogs for every subject under the sun and with such mass presence, the power, relevance and value of a blogger can often be overlooked. In an emerging industry, such as escape rooms and live adventure games, the value of bloggers can be immense – if they’re used and applied correctly.
There are three main types of blogger:
The ‘expert’ – who is relaying information, views and opinions about their field of specialism. It is reasonable to expect that such a blogger will have inside information and contacts within their specialism, a quality level of education and knowledge on the subject, and the ability to clearly and intelligently relay that through the medium of their blog. Experts are usually paid within their own field of work for their knowledge and expertise, and they don’t usually benefit financially from the presence and operation of their blog. Instead, they gain additional status, credibility and industry exposure through their blog.
The ‘enthusiast’ – who is passionate about a subject – a hobby, specialist interest or work – and quite simply, has a lot to say and share about it. It is reasonable to expect that an ‘enthusiast’ will invest a lot of time and resources into being involved in their subject. That involvement will educate them, give insight into the workings of the subject, and provide the material to share with others. An enthusiast usually funds their own operations within their subject field, and doesn’t usually benefit financially from the production of their blog. The benefits to them are about being involved and the enjoyment they gain from sharing that involvement.
The ‘monetizer’ – is someone who can write well, market well, and pick up on any particular subject or trend and use it to make a living through the medium of a blog. Monetized blogs are usually obvious – the websites will run adverts, affiliate links, product placement, etc. Someone who blogs for a living, will also be skilled in web optimisation, social media connectivity and people networking to acquire and expand material and subject matter for their blog. A ‘monetizer’ blogger will work hard to gain high numbers of social media followers, because their reach dictates their income.
I believe every industry benefits from having all 3 types of blogger working within the field of operations. When an industry is new, such as we see for escape rooms recently, it’s emergence is driven by passionate pioneers. They are looking to develop, innovate, produce and test in order to see what works and what is valuable to become established in the marketplace. Once the pioneers progress their work, the financiers enter the arena. All business has to enter and succeed in the ‘profit’ arena, and financial success should feed and inject resources into more pioneering and development.
Part of the support network for any emerging industry, should be the presence of the bloggers – those who will talk about, prompt ideas, encourage feedback and interest, and deliver the news to the public as it becomes produced by those working in the industry.
Blogging should be a supportive service that injects interest, potential and curiosity into any particular subject field. Blogging is a philosophy – one that provides content to engage the public in a raising of awareness. A blogger should be strongly focused on reaching the target public audience to achieve such awareness of an industry. A sincere blogger is driven by a desire to help others discover, learn and hopefully improve some small part of their lives because of the content produced. Ultimately, a blogger wants to be useful and helpful.
A dedicated blogger should have one clear purpose…. to be a successful interface between the provider of a service/product and the customer of that service/product. Blogging, when done well, can reach into the diversity of the public mindset and attract attention to an emerging industry. The overall effect should be to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and increase customer utilisation of the service or product.
I would suggest that no-one underestimate the value and usefulness of a blogger with integrity applying their skill to an emerging industry. In my career experience I have been privileged to be a part of three such emerging business areas. In the first, the small niche businesses got gobbled up by the larger well-financed groups. In the second, the nature of the technology prompted a vast array of ideas and extensions leading off in tangents, and the product became diluted from its original form and mutated into a commonplace usefulness. In the third area, it never quite made it past ‘early adopters’ stage. At least not yet. But those original indicators that I saw in my own career circumstances years ago, I see again now within the escape room industry. A degree of potential and possibility that is encouraging and exciting.
In the past few months of following people’s views and opinions about the growth of escape rooms, I see the wide diversity of speculation about its future. Is it a passing fad? Will the large corporations look to buy it up? Or maybe they’ll copy it and do it better? Or will it develop into something valuable enough to have staying power? Will it be viable long-term for independent producers?
Most of my years of blogging have been as an expert in my own particular field of specialism. I’m grateful now that as a hobby and as part of a team here, I can blog as an enthusiast on escape rooms. There’s a wonderfully relaxed approach I can take to sharing a hobby with others and hopefully, I can be useful in the process. But regardless of it being a hobby, I still take the service role and function of a blogger seriously. As I said, it should be a quality interface between provider and end user, and when done well, it actually contributes to the growth and the betterment of an industry.
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