How to Persuade 100,000 Friends? Understanding Blogs As One-To-One Mass Media

Soyean (Julia) Kim , Boston University, USA
Seema Pai, Boston University, USA
Frederic F. Brunel , Boston University, USA
Barbara A. Bickart, Boston University, USA
In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework that explains how blogs can be categorized based on audiences’ perceptions and how bloggers use different strategies to shape or shift their audiences’ perceptions and increase the persuasiveness of their messages. We find that bloggers use two distinguishable communication strategies: (a) developing and sustaining an illusion of relationship between the blogger and the reader in order to individualize the communication and (b) maintaining a level of ambiguity in their commercial interests in order to conceal the commercial nature of some blogs. We describe the tactics underlying the use of these strategies as well as the efficacy and ethics of these practices.  
[ to cite ]:
Soyean (Julia) Kim , Seema Pai, Frederic F. Brunel , and Barbara A. Bickart (2012) ,"How to Persuade 100,000 Friends? Understanding Blogs As One-To-One Mass Media ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep Gürhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1015-1016.