Posted by: tgoodridge | August 5, 2008

Why I think my plumber shouldn’t start blogging

Why do I spend so much time online?

Well, for one, I manage an online community and I need be connected to its members. But here are my other 3 reasons:

1. Transactions. Buying tickets, books, subscriptions, etc.
2. Lightning-fast access to any and all types of information
3. Connecting to, and learning more about, the people, and companies that give me that

And, in this day and age, point #3 seems to be taking up a much larger chunk of that time. And, my guess is if you are reading this post, you’re probably doing the same thing too. It’s what social media is, right?

Other firms are catching on. Scott Monty and his team are leading the charge over at Ford. Agencies are adding new social media experts. The Social Media role will soon be part of the org chart.

Social media, at it’s very core, is still all about relationships. Relationships between people, and relationships between people and organizations.

But what about the industries that may not need social media to help them grow. Does your plumber need to have his own blog? Probably not. Your dentist? Not so sure. The real-estate lawyer (what was his name again) who helped you close on your first house? I don’t know.

You see, while I’m a social media person, I’m still a little old-fashioned when it comes to relationships. I need to look my plumber in the eye, shake his hand, and decide whether or not I trust the guy. My dentist needs to be good at cleaning my teeth. If he’s good, I’ll tell people, but probably not through social media.

Bottom line, there are businesses and organizations out there that thrive on personal, human interaction and don’t need social media (and I don’t consider a static website social media)

Here’s what I think some of them are, in no particular order:

Your local library or fire station.
Independent, local contractors-plumbers, electricians, the guy who plows your driveway…
Family doctors/pediatricians
Financial advisors
Career counselors

What would you add/subtract?


  1. I don’t know… I sort of see your point, but a plumber who blogs could give out a lot of free info to help people deal with or avoid the common problems he gets called to fix. In that way, he could polish his brand up a little and show how much he knows and what a helpful person he is.
    That approach to enhancing your brand by displaying what you know by helping others or answering questions can work for anyone. Licensed professionals like doctors or lawyers, of course need to be very careful about giving advice as that is regulated by law. But dispensing general information is usually always a good thing for anyone to do. Increasingly large segments of the population turn to the internet to get info. Why not about plumbing?

  2. Great point Joe. Put that way, it makes perfect sense. If a plumber has the time, resources, and ability to start blogging away- all the power to him. I guess I look at it another way, and that’s from the end-user. If I’m a time-starved home owner who has a need for a plumber or electrician, I’m probably doing a google search for plumbers in my area, and assuming that this guy’s blog probably won’t show up on my search…And, it seems as if the viral/WOM effect of a plumber’s blog might not be as appealling, as say, Chris Brogan’s blog. Would I tell my neighbor about my plumber’s blog? I guess THATS s the question I’m now asking.. Now I may be starting to change my tune and should tone down the rhetoric…

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