In 2006 The Guardian published “The rise of the blogger”, an article marvelling at the number and influence of bloggers. A mere two years later, the blogosphere is believed to contain 200 million blogs, and be more powerful than ever. President Obama’s victory last November has barackobama.com to thank. Celebrity sites like Gawker and Perezhilton (now receiving more than 10 million visits a day!) mean that no celeb goes under the radar – making or breaking careers.
And it’s not just the popular bloggers that are shaking the boat. A few months ago, Dave Carroll, a relatively unknown Canadian musician, used his blog to cause a big stir around the world. He had taken a flight with United Airlines and watched as his guitar, which he had entrusted the airline to handle carefully, was mishandled and damaged. After being declined compensation numerous times by an unhelpful customer service, Carroll decided to take his revenge – in the form of a YouTube video which boasts of 5 1/2 million views.
Little did United Airlines realise how influential this video would be. It became an instant success, snowballing as soon as the mainstream media caught whiff of the scandal. In the article “Revenge is best served cold – on YouTube“, the UK’s The Times says the United’s stock price dropped by 10 per cent, translating to a loss of $180 million to shareholders.
I love this idea that the Davids now have a fighting chance against the Goliaths. Businesses keep honest and consumers are empowered. And it may even do away with automated, unhelpful customer service centres!