As many of you are aware, the Z-List is again taking off. Since mid-December when the Z-List first started to spread, there have been certain criticisms of the list. The main complaints revolve around the fact that it IS just a list. It's hard to tell what each blog is about, and what the subject matter is.
But a few members of the Z-List have taken it upon themselves to address these issues. First, Becky decided she wanted to categorize all the blogs. Then, Gavin and Sharon decided to also write a short description for each blog. Yes I cringed just at the thought of how much work this will be!
I've visited countless blogs for the first time because of the Z-List, and left numerous comments on blogs and to bloggers that I had never previously heard of. On one of the blogs, someone left a comment in response to the Z-List saying something like 'This is just a way to get links'. I added that if that was all you wanted from the Z-List, that would likely be all you would get.
And the Z-List does give everyone on it a buncha links. But as we can tell from the actions of Sharon, Gavin and Becky, it also gives community. Bloggers that had likely never heard of each other a few weeks ago, now share a sense of ownership in something bigger than themselves, and want to see that creation grow and thrive.
I constantly hear from companies wanting to know how they can get customers excited about their products, how they can grow their communities. I hear from companies wanting to know how they can start blogging to grow their business. I always say that you have to position your marketing and communication from the customer's point of view. You have to give your customers a reason to be excited about your company, and give them reasons and the tools to share that excitement with others. When that happens, a community can start to form.
I really wish companies could see this. People WANT to believe in something bigger than themselves. They WANT to believe in each other. They want to HELP each other. But they don't want to be sold to, and they don't want to buy from companies that tell them that they only want to talk to them in order to take their money.
Sorry, but your company making money isn't really that exciting to the people you are making that money off of. You'll have to give us something more to earn our excitement.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, ZList