Blogging and the “Wow” factor. . .

Thursday March 22 marked the annual California Association of Mortgage Brokers’ tradeshow held at the San Ramon Marriott. The event focus was on the wholesale lending community with over 30 banking institutions and affiliates in attendance. The question in my mind was simple: How many mortgage professionals would be able to define the word blog?

I decided to wade into the fray by doing my best Mal Sharpe “man on the street” impression. I explained that I was taking a poll and asked people “Can you tell me what a blog is or how to blog?” Here is a list of the participating companies:

Equifirst; First Magnus; American Brokers Conduit; Bank of Arizona; Redwood Mortgage; Fieldstone Mortgage; First Cal; Bay Rock Mortgage; Performance Lending & Investments; MGIC; Bankers Commercial Capital; Opteum Financial Services; Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc.; National City Mortgage; SCME Mortgage Bankers; Mortgage IT; HSBC Mortgage Corp.; Reunion Mortgage; The Mortgage Store; Guaranteed Rate; Presta Appraisal Group; TBS Couriers; Downey Savings; Provident Bank Mortgage; Aegis Home Equity; Community Commerce Bank; Long Beach Mortgage; Tamalpais Bank; Loan Center of California; Thornburg Mortgage; GreenPoint Mortgage; Liberty Title; Circle Bank; and Fine Art Photography.

The results were eye opening to me. Of 104 people queried, only 7 ( 7.28%) were able to respond with an answer. Of those lucky 7 respondents, only 3 had a full understanding of the definition and the marketing power of blogging.

And what of those other 97 souls who gave answers to the question: What is a blog? Here are a few of the interesting answers I heard: “A blog? It’s a gadget of some kind right?”; “Yes of course I know. . . blogging is a method of blocking an email”; “Is it a club?”; “Blogging is when people write a diary about their lives.”; and my favorite response of all “I really don’t care I am retiring in a few years anyway.”

After my five hours of give and take I was exhausted and ready to move on home. All I could think of was the “Wow” factor. How can blogging be so misunderstood? How could blogging be so unknown? It reminded me of the Wow signal, the first and only detectable radio signal ever recorded (1977) from outer space during the search for extraterrestrial (UFO type) life. As Roger Water’s exclaimed “Is anybody out there. . . “