Expectations of Openness
Another winery client at Wark Communications is about to take up blogging. This occasion has given me the opportunity to think about what’s important in this pursuit.
One of those things is honesty and openness. I believe readers respond best to those who disclose as much as is prudent to their readers.
Oddly, this point was driven home yesterday when I was looking over a new website, not a blog, that I think might have potential. But, as I cruised around Winemarketer.com I realized eventually that the sources of this new website dedicated to on-line wine marketing had no reference whatsoever to the folk who created it. No email address (just forms), no "About Us" page, no info on the credentials of the founders and creators, nothing.
I went back to the press release that led me to the new website and realized that not even there was any information available about the creators of the site beyond this cryptic reference,"Wine Marketer was developed by a group of professional wine marketers,
a wine retailer and SEO experts from multiple successful marketing
firms." The contact name on the press release is "M. Phillip" and a cell phone number is offered.
The fact that there is no information about the who the "professional wine marketers" are behind this new website is not the point. The point is that this lack of information made me wary. It made me wonder.
I get the same way about wine blogs in which the owners choose to remain anonymous. Real people are always more interesting than unknown people, if only because real people have real stories. I tend to walk away from blogs that don’t disclose their ownership. This might be a fatal flaw on my part…but I don’t think so. It goes back to the issue of openness and honesty in blogging. If you expect your readers to stick with you, they should at least have the expectation that the object of their attention won’t pull punches and will tell you what needs to be known to put their words in context.