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Blog Reader Response Eloquently Reveals True Connection Between Reader And Blogger Through Blog Writing

I received my first survey back from a blog reader. James Thomas reads Tim Jackson’s blog Masi Guy. Here are his answers in full, I am going to take some of the best quotes (there are a lot of them) and incorporate them into my chapter on blogging from a customer’s perspective for my book on blogging tools and strategies. I am still looking for more data to fill out my chapter, if you run an in-house corporate blog, or know something that does, and would like me to query your blog readers with the questions from my blog customer survey let me know at jcass AT nwlink DOT com or post a comment here.

Many thanks to Tim Jackson from the Masi blog for putting me in contact with James, and to James Thomas, thanks for a great survey response!

1) What is it about this blog that started you reading this blog, and causes you to continue to read the blog?

I started reading Masiguy well over a year ago simply because it was one of the first bike blogs that I discovered. Actually, Tim’s blog was one of three bike blogs that I read early on and inspired me to start my own blog. I continue to read the Masiguy because I am interested in hearing an industry insider’s perspective on all things bike related. Also, Tim’s blog is always entertaining because he openly shares his passion for his job and for cycling in general.

2) Which of the following factors do you think adds to the credibility of this blog?

James highlighted the following factors from the survey’s list of factors:

c. Openness and transparency of the blogger
d. Writing style of the blogger
e. Content of the blog
f. Interaction with blogger
j. The blogger's role at their company
k. The authority of the blogger

Please pick one or two factors, and tell us which factor you considered added the most credibility for the blog, and if possible explain why?

If I have to pick two (and apparently I do), I’ll go with C and D. I think that these two factors are related and combine to give readers a true sense of Tim’s approach to his job as brand manager at Masi. Though Tim obviously wants to promote Masi bikes, the blog does not read at all like marketing material. I think the genuine, sometimes offbeat content allows readers to put a personal face with the company and the products. If potential customers want to read technical specs on the bikes, they can check out the Masi website. If they want a casual peek into life at Masi and the thoughts behind the products, they can check out the blog. That personal connection really gets to the core of what fascinates me about blogging.

3) Has your impression of the blogger's company changed since reading his/her blog? If so, in what why has your impressions changed?

I have always had a favorable impression of the Masi brand. My collage roommate, who I traveled to races with in the early nineties, had a couple of very nice Masi bikes. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about the new iteration of the Masi brand until I started reading Tim’s blog. The fact that I can see the passion for cycling that goes into the bikes makes me, maybe subconsciously, like the brand a bit more. I have never met Tim personally, but through his blog and the comments that he makes on my blog, I feel like I know him a bit. That personal connection that the blog creates certainly influences my perception of the company. I would probably not buy a new Masi just because I read the Masiguy blog, but if all other factors were equal, the personal connection created by the blog would influence me to choose a Masi over another functionally equivalent, similarly priced bike. I guess a better way to express that is that people are more comfortable buying from someone they know. Tim’s blog makes readers feel like they know someone in the bike business.

4) How would you describe the blogger's writing style, in individual articles, the whole blog and in their comments?

I would say that Tim’s writing is informal, sometimes even conversational. I think that helps to foster the personal connection with readers that I discussed above.

5) If you met the blogger in the street, what would you know about them, how would you describe them

Well, I sure wouldn’t have any trouble recognizing Tim since he posts a picture of his mug on the blog almost every day. What an egomaniac! Seriously though, if I met Tim I would know that we are both bike geeks and that we would have no shortage of things to talk about. As I said before, Tim enthusiastically shares his passion for cycling and I think that enthusiasm is infectious. How would I describe him? I already said that he is a bike geek, maybe even an extreme bike geek. Beyond that of course, I think Tim is someone who is optimistic, outgoing, and chooses to live his life to the fullest. People like to be around someone like that, in real life and in the blogosphere.

Update 12/3/06:

I posted two other surveys connected with this project.

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