I often make the point when I give presentations on social media and the business world that competitive B2B print magazines exist in strange, alternative universes where their competitors don’t exist and are never referred to. Why “strange, alternative”? Well, for the last decade I’ve spent much of my time participating in a world where linking to those you “compete” with is part and parcel of what makes the publishing format work: blogging. And that link-and-connect idea has stayed just as true as the different forms of social media have evolved.
The network effect and the very nature of the web means that linking to others in your space benefits both of you, both in terms of search engine ranking, and in intertwining your communities. Online, people don’t have to make a choice between one site and another, and so each publication doesn’t have to compete to be their community’s only choice. You are, if anything, competing to be their most regularly-visited site or, more interestingly, their most trusted. And one thing that really helps build trust in you is when you link to those you notionally compete against. That’s a 180-degree shift around from the values of print media.
So, it’s kinda amusing to see people treating the online world like the print one by ruthlessly expunging any touch of their competition from a list of influential property Twitter users. I honestly couldn’t imagine any blogger doing this to a list of influencers in their field, yet I’d bet it wasn’t even a question for the magazine team. And, to be fair to the Property Week guys, it’s a tough mindset shift that I’ve seen many people at all levels of the business struggle with here at RBI. But It’s still B2B media turning social media into quasi-social media. Ah, well.
I’m always delighted to link to the competition – and this blog would be a hell of a lot less interesting if I did nothing but spout my own opinions rather than linking to the wealth of good journalism bloggers there are out there right now. And there are some interesting Twitter users on that list that you should be following if you’re in the property business. 😉
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