Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Personal Blog or Corporate Exploitation?

We've had such an interesting discussion of the difference between personal blogging vs. corporate blogging that I had to bring up something I saw the other day. Being the professional wrestling fan that I am, I was surfing the World Wrestling Entertainment website and saw that hardcore legend Mick Foley had his own blog. It's an interesting read, especially if you're one of his millions of fans. But after reading it, I had to ask myself, why is it here? Their's no question that this is a personal blog; Foley talks about meeting WWE diva Stacey Kiebler and his trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops. Why would WWE host this blog instead of Foley posting it on either his own website or some public domain? As a major corporation, WWE would have to have some type of motivation for putting this content on its site.
I decided to take a closer look at entertainment companies that utilize blogs and had some interesting results. I found that both the NHL and the NBA have a spot on their website just for blogs. Some of these blogs focus on predictions, thoughts on the games, trends in the sport, etc.
So what's the point? I think what we have here are two very different types of marketing to entertainment fans. As a retired wrestler, Foley isn't in the spotlight much anymore. His blog offers the WWE fans a bit of nostalgia and up-to-date information on one of the sport's biggest superstars. On the otherside, the NHL and NBA blogs offer a great breadth of commentary on what's happening in the sports world. These blogs are almost like written transcripts of what you see when you turn on ESPN; the thoughts on happenings in the league by some of the biggest experts in the field.
I couldn't really find any other examples of utilizing personal blogs by corporations. I just found it interesting that an entertainment corporation like the WWE would put a personal blog up so much. Here's some food for thought; is Foley being exploited? Is he unwillingly being used as a marketing ploy or do you think he's doing it for the notoriety? Should corporations use their spokesperson's blogs as a marketing tool or just stick to the tried and true, boring endorsements? Maybe this is the next level of celebrity marketing. What do you think?