Influential Bloggers Reshaping Offline Institutions

Yes, yes, we’ve heard it all before: Bloggers are really influential! But two stories I read this weekend — about relatively small websites operated by one and four people, respectively, affecting enormous impact on storied offline institutions — made me sit up straight, and smile.

First, Jeff Jarvis (of BuzzMachine) shakes up Dell’s corporate culture, marketing tactics and approach product design (Ad Age).

“Back in the summer of 2005, Dell ignored Jeff Jarvis’ complaints about a lemon laptop at its own peril. The blogger’s ‘Dell Hell’ rants teed up a mainstream story starring the PC manufacturer as an arrogant giant that became a case study in how one man’s website could shred a corporate reputation.”

Second, the crew at Boing Boing is credited with the success of Boston-based Gardner Museum’s new podcast programming — the strategy they hope will save the museum as its membership base ages — according to Boston.com.

“We were optimistically hoping 25,000 would download this thing in a single year,” Landrum said. “Now it’s going to be about 10 times that.”

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