When I talked to Times (London) reporter Andrew Heavens last month for this article (good luck accessing that if you’re not in the UK), I mentioned to him a blog I knew about, Tinbasher, that is solely about sheet metal. I did so not because I am myself a sheet metal enthusiast - Egyptian linen sheets, maybe, but nothing metallic - but to illustrate the point that there are micro-blogospheres within the larger blogosphere, and that businesses should find theirs and engage them. Or, as Frank Kelcz (who held senior roles at publishing companies Bertelsmann, ACE Electronics Publications and VNU in Europe and launched Ziff-Davis over here as well) put it at our day session on Friday, the blogosphere allows for every imaginable specialist publication in the world to exist and thrive if the market for it is there or can be created.
Well, I got an email from the proprietor of Tinbasher, Paul Woodhouse of Butler Sheet Metal, not too long after the Times piece was published. Apparently all the attention from that mention forced Paul to give the blog a makeover - and he’s done a good job. As he puts it:
This spurred me into action with the same gut feeling you have when you know you’re expecting visitors and frantically start hoovering.
And how did I know about Tinbasher? Well, Paul is an old friend of a blogger with whom I am friendly, Harry Hatchet. Harry linked to Tinbasher once upon a time, and although I am nowhere near the target audience for such a site, it always stuck in my mind as a wonderful example of the kind of niche publication that is so easily possible only with blogs. Paul and I have also exchanged views in the comments at Harry’s blog, but it wasn’t until he emailed me about Tinbasher’s mention in the Times that the penny dropped and I realised exactly who was behind that sheet metal blog.
Small world, big blogosphere. Don’t forget it.
In the last few days I came across three more blogs by people who probably would not be blogging, if they did think it is a waste of time and that there is something to this ‘blog’ thing. They are all busy and influential in their spheres. Let the blogosphere be another one for them.
Soros blog looks like someone explained to Mr Soros what a blog does and he started one without actually reading or interacting with any. There is no immediate interaction but you can email your comments or questions in and if you are lucky may even find it (and the answer) as the next ‘blog post’.
Richard Edelman’s Independent Thinking has the ‘personal’ touch and we already learn that he will be blogging at the brisk 6am. The only time any of us up at such an ungodly hour is when we are travelling (cheaply and early) or when we haven’t gone to sleep yet (stuff to do with California or just working really hard.). And there is some strangeness in the comments section - you get the whole post again in the little windonw before you can read the comments.
Esther Dyson’s Release 4.0 is a great read with the personality really coming through. And in a good way.
Hm, it strikes me that none of them use a known standard blog software. I wonder why? Also, none of them have a blogroll… Don’t want or need to be part of the network?