Breakthroughs in Polish blogosphere in 2014
Krzysztof Majkowski, business advisor at Gemius
Event of the year
The Businessmen vs. Bloggers debate hosted by Money.pl and transmitted live on Polish national TV. This shows how much influential blogs and bloggers themselves have become. As the first event of this type, it opens entirely new perspectives for authors and shows how intertwined the media are becoming.
Success of the year
The decision of Tomasz Tomczyk aka Kominek to shut down all his blogs and withdraw the book Blogger from circulation. However dramatic this step may seem, the undertaking should not be understood as total departure from blogging, but rather a rebranding attempt. Even more so, as the new edition of the book is to hit the stores soon. The very fact that this decision stirred up a discussion and questions about the future of blogging is in my view a win. People associated with the blogosphere are wondering if and how this gimmick turns out for Kominek. Without a doubt, this is a brave step that not many known bloggers would ever venture to take.
Disappointment of the year
I was considering two candidates to the title of the failure of the year, but I finally opted for a “good” example of how the internet and social media can be misunderstood. This seems highly irrational and sounds like the worst PR specialist’s nightmare. Sometime mid-year, the publishing house Nova Artis threatened a blogger, Martyna Szkołyk, with a legal action if she didn’t remove a review she made on a book titled Pamiętnik Diabła. Enough said. The very kind of approach we see here is indicative of the publisher’s ignorance of the power vested in the internet and is a showcase of misjudgement of the business environment.
Despite the fact that the blogger removed the review, the case ignited some considerable online upheaval and got through to the general media. Contrary to the alleged conjunction of Nova Artis, the incident was neither marginal, nor limited to the narrow circles of bloggers. The matter was brought up in such large press titles as Na Temat and Gazeta Wyborcza.
The question is: was the lawsuit brandishing worth the backlash? The more so that the review itself was not downright negative, and the critique praised the author’s style and the subject, only pointing out to editing errors. Such a good occasion to forge this “failure” into success. Instead, the publishing house created a new image for itself. Unfortunately, a negative one.
Personality of the year
Maffashion. For incessant development and the ability to surprise the audience anew each and every time. The slightly controversial, yet unconventional campaign run by Orange in cooperation with Maffashion and Wujaszek Liestyle may provide an example.
A story like many others… A mobile got stolen. Quite unfortunately for the thief, two things happened. Maffashion kept her files in a cloud. This is how the theft victim blogger had access to the photos the lifter took of himself and friends, which allegedly led to his identification.
As it turned out, there was no actual theft. The whole thing was just to promote the operator’s services and security of data on the net. Controversial? Yes. Risky? Yes. Innovative? Yes. It’s 3 yeses for the personality of the year for doing something different.
Trend of the year
Though a popular bon mot has it that the “blogosphere is going down”, the situation is actually quite different. It certainly is changing and becoming more professional. It’s too early to say if the golden age of lifestyle blogging is over. A trend for greater specialization is surely there. It’s possible that 2014 was a peak year or perhaps one of the last years of lifestyle content popularity. What’s next? The plans of Kominek, a leading Polish blogger, to launch an entirely new blog, shows the direction of the forthcoming changes. It is hard to predict what the main theme the blogosphere focuses on will be, and if any main stream is formed at all. In my opinion, it will be drifting towards specialization and professionalization.
Prediction for 2015
First and foremost, double V. Then M, S and P. What do I mean, exactly? Visual (more, and more). Vine. Mobile. Specialization. Professionalization.
I mentioned specialization and professionalization speaking about the trend of the year. When it comes to the first “V”, the visual aspect of the content posted on blogs will gain on importance, so will integration with platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. If these can be considered blogging platforms is another issue. In their case, we are definitely going towards the aforementioned “M”, but let me come back to this in a moment.
The other “V”, which stands for Vine, opens an array of possibilities to enrich the visual side of blogs with animated “video” material, or animated graphics. All that spiced up with the mobile sauce. As mobile devices are increasingly used for reading, browsing and online interaction, what seems a natural evolution of blogs is to adapt them to the specificity of the devices themselves and of the way they are utilised.
Companies will also be increasingly eager to cooperate with bloggers, particularly with those who can discuss concrete subjects in a professional and interesting way.