(Vero) With more than 24 million internet users in Vietnam today, a number of bloggers have developed a strong following for their web log entries about business, life, technology, travel, fashion, sports and a lot of other subjects.
For businesses seeking to grow brand awareness and deliver messages about new products and services, reaching out to Vietnam’s leading bloggers has become a “must have” activity. In addition to global social networks and blogging tools such as Twitter or WordPress, there is also immense development of Vietnamese social weblogs targeting young people, primarily 18-34 year olds. A few examples include Clip.vn, 360plus, Zing, Vietspace, and Yume.
In this context, some people have become famous by sharing their entries on blogs. These highly popular bloggers — known as “hot bloggers” — attract thousands, and in some cases, even millions of viewers. They become well-known in many different ways. Some post sensational news from the world of entertainment or society, while some just share their experiences and feelings about every aspect in life.
Despite many different opinions about “hot bloggers” and their effects on society, there is no doubt that they show the readers various aspects and issues in daily life which can not be published on other mass media. Thanks to trust from the readers, “hot bloggers”, in general, have had a strong influence on many people who view their blogs. With just some words and pictures, the information from their blogs can be spread widely and rapidly. That is the reason why many companies have cooperated with hot bloggers as a marketing strategy to popularize their products or services.
With the aim of having deep understanding of the relationship between blogs and the business, we carried out interviews with the two famous bloggers, Robbey and MeoAc.
Robbey used to be a student specializing in English/Literature at Ho Chi Minh City Gifted High School and Highland Regional High School in the USA. He has achieved a good command in both written English and Vietnamese. Robbey started his blog with reviews of albums and performances, especially American Idol and Vietnam Idol competitions. He soon acquired a good reputation thanks to his wide knowledge of music and his access to celebrities.
Robbey WordPress: https://robbeydeptrai.wordpress.com/
1. How do you become famous on online community? What do you write about?
It occurs really by chance. Writing is my hobby since I was just a little child. When I studied in America, I spent my free time to write daily in English and just emailed my friends to read. Then, when I came back to Vietnam and got used to Yahoo! 360, I began to blog more in Vietnamese and garnered much attention because of my peculiar and unique writing style. Before I even knew it, the total views hit 1 million and people started to address me as a “hot blogger”. Vietnam Idol 2007 is also a big step. When I saw Phuong Vy’s captivating performance, I liked her immediately and wanted to write something about her as well as the competition. At that time, I realized that Vietnamese contemporary music scene is quite interesting, thus I got driven to review all the Vietnamese albums and shows that I enjoyed. Many readers actually paid attention to these reviews, giving various feedbacks and insightful thoughts. I was like, “Why not?” In fact, art is my passion. Later on, I’d also observe and express my feelings about fashion, movies and showbiz in general.
2. Who are your main blog readers? What do they think about your entries?
The majority is obviously the young generation, with somewhat similar portion of male and female. 61% of people are from the age between 18 and 24.
As a matter of fact, people have different opinions. But the most important thing to me is that they must respect each other. They can disagree or dislike my ideas, but they must express in a civil manner. I would certainly not tolerate foul language or discrimination.
3. What are advantages and disadvantages of becoming a hot blogger?
There are many advantages. I have more friends and relationships. My opinions become valuable to artist managers when they need ideas or feedbacks. I make money. I get the best products when they arrive, for free. I even become famous, sometimes I walk down the streets and some teenagers would ask to take photographs with me. It’s quite flattering.
However, when becoming popular, you also have to face bad rumors from negative people who try to ruin you. Most of the time, I do not even know who they are. I am also disturbed by spams or abusive messages from anonymous ones.
4. Bloggers become famous by sharing their own thoughts with public, why would they be valuable to PR strategy, in your opinion?
In fact, traditional media like magazines or newspapers are biased and provide one-sided information. Sometimes, they tend to not give the full story, confusing the readers with insufficient information. But blogging is different. I want to emphasize the interaction of blogging. Readers can actually interact with writers and express themselves right away. In many cases, when I write about some artists, they also comment on those entries.
5. What kinds of projects do businesses offer you to work on?
Usually, I would write entries on my blogs or some lines on Facebook to introduce the new products. I am also a copywriter for various brands.
6. There are many famous bloggers now in Vietnam, why do you think they chose you to cooperate?
Frankly, I have a gift of languages, especially English and Vietnamese. I’d love to play around with words, take readers for a ride, then end up telling them the necessary messages. It’s all natural. The significant thing is that when people read my entries, they feel familiar and can find themselves in it.
7. What are the difficulties when working with PR specialist?
Straightforwardness is important. Some companies do not have clear visions or plans when working with me, so I always express my thoughts.
8. How do you satisfy your clients but still keep your own opinion?
I do not write about what I do not like. I just accept an offer when I am interested in and feel good about it; otherwise, it doesn’t make sense. My blogs are not commercial pages; I link everything to my daily life naturally.
9. Will you change your content of your blog or any plan to attract more people to your blog?
I would upgrade my blog’s designs. In addition, I will gather a team of interesting people to contribute their entries to my blogs in the near future.
10. What do you think of the future of blogging in Vietnam?
The strength of blogging is interaction. People can exchange various information and ideas online. Furthermore, not everyone can make decisions by themselves; thus extra opinions from others would be helpful. And these are reasons for blogging to prosper in the future.