Blogging As Another

Character blogs just don’t work.

At the start of the year a character blog was established to launch a movie. It was a great way to generate a little buzz, especially around the blogosphere. I’m sure they even picked up a few regular readers and maybe a couple of RSS subscriptions.

But it hasn’t been touched since April. Movie launches have a lifetime of only a couple of months but blogs carry a long tail. You can’t launch a blog and build up an audience to abruptly stop. Blogging and short term strategy just don’t go together.

Sure they might put out another post when the DVD is released but their small (but passionate) community will be long dead by then.

Fictional television characters might have it a little eaiser. Dwight Schrute from The Office has his own blog which is immensely popular. But take a look back a few months ago and you will see a massive gap during the Writers Guild of America Strike. You need to pay a writer to maintain a character blog which can’t always be done.

So when do they work?

When done in parody and non commercially. The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog is a great example where Daniel Lyons maintained a successful blog for several years until he was revealed in August 2007. He still posts daily under the character and it is as successful as ever.

Marketers shouldn’t be using fake blogs for more reasons than just transparency issues.

Unless anyone can prove me wrong with an example?

  • Julian Cole
    Posted at July 2, 2008 12:30pm, 02 July Reply

    *insert thinking music ala Sale of the Century* You are right on the money. Blogging is a long term strategy. I am going to have a think though.

  • Rick Clarke
    Posted at July 16, 2008 5:50pm, 16 July Reply

    I have to disagree. One of my favourite blogs was one run by Virgin for their “Hot Warren” campaign for 5c Virgin-to-Virgin. I can’t remember how long it ran, but probably not that long. But it contributed some content that I enjoyed reading, so it did it’s job.

    I never felt betrayed that the blog stopped, I was never upset that they’d just left me as a reader out in the cold. My life never revolved around that one blog ;). It made a good contribution while it existed and that’s all there is to it.

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