Did you see this week's Spit & Polish in The Sunday Times? In it, Barry Ronge eloquently lamented the subversive power of bloggers on Box Office takings - often to the detriment of great films.

He mentions an interview with the Mike Nichols, Director of The Golden Compass, a film which suffered, and failed, at the hands of fundamentalist Christian bloggers who denounced it as a "gospel for Atheists":
Nichols [speculated] about how the Internet has become a determining factor in Hollywood’s choice of the movies they make and also the style in which they are made, because producers now have to please the blogosphere or fail.

Nichols expressed it precisely. “It’s a whole new critical world out there. I am all for everyone having a voice,� he said. “I just don’t think everyone has earned the microphone. And that’s what the Internet has done. It has given everyone the microphone, saying ‘Get a load off your chest’. Inevitably, the angriest or most outrageous voices get the attention.

Sadly, it's not usually the most erudite arguments that get the most Attention online, it's those that are most sensational and easiest to spread.

The challenge to South African marketers will be to engage and form relationships with the influential bloggers here, and to build relationships so that their story can be represented objectively ahead of the eminent flood of opinion that is going to be unleashed on them soon.

For bloggers, it's important to acknowledge the responsibility that comes with an audience.

We can't regulate the blogosphere, but we can be a more intelligent community by embracing fundamental journalistic principles.
AuthorDave Duarte