Have you heard that Apple released a new laptop called the MacBook Air yesterday?
If you haven’t – you are not reading the same blogs that I am. The news is everywhere at the moment with thousands of bloggers ‘breaking’ the news.
Here’s how Technorati has tracked the mentions of ‘MacBook’ on blogs in the last month. They tracked around 7000 blogs using the word yesterday (I think it’s much more than that – but you get the point of the chart).
Here’s how blogpulse charts it with just under 1% of all blog posts in the blogosphere containing the word ‘MacBook’ in the last day.
So with 1 out of every 100 posts being written about MacBooks – a blogger is faced with a real challenge.
How do you stand out of the crowd?
5 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd When Covering a Popular Story
I want to suggest 5 ways that you can take a story that everyone else is writing about and do something that gives you a chance to differentiate yourself:
1. Compare – some of the posts that I’ve seen about the MacBook Air that have gotten more attention than others skipped over ‘reporting’ the features of the new laptop and got straight into comparing it with the features of other laptops in its class. Gizmodo currently has a good post doing this with a helpful chart that compares the MacBook Air and four of its competitors. This type of post usually starts appearing a couple of days after a story breaks – but there’s nothing to stop you doing it earlier.
2. Translate for Your Audience – most people hear the facts of the news fairly quickly (I mean even my Mum saw the new MacBook Air on the TV news last night) – but what is harder to find is people who will tell you what it means for them. OK – so Apple released a new laptop last night – it looks thin….. “but is it something that could enhance my life? Does it suit my needs? How would it fit with my life?” These are the types of questions your readers will be asking when they hear news. These are the types of questions they’ll be searching for opinion on from others who they see to be ‘like them’. So in the case of the MacBook Air – a post like ’10 reasons why the MacBook Air will help You be a better Accountant’ or ‘Why Farmers are Better off Not Buying a MacBook Air’ might be an angle to take. This type of post might not get linked to by everyone in the blogosphere – but it’ll be appreciate by your regular readership and by other blogs in your niche. In a sense Treehugger did this with their post on the ‘greenness’ of the MacBook Air.
3. Give an Opinion – reporting the news is going to satisfy some readers and their thirst to be in the know – but most readers want more. They want to know what YOU think about that news – they want your opinion. In the case of the MacBook Air there has been plenty of opinion stated so this technique might not have as much impact now 36 hours after the announcement – but what I noticed in the hour or so after it was announced was it was largely opinionated posts that rose to the top of the social bookmarking sites – particularly posts that had strong negative reactions to the laptop. This is what Paul Boutin did with Why I’m Disappointed in Apple’s Ultraslim New Laptop.
4. Use Humor – often when the blogosphere is all going on about the one thing it is the blogger who dares to do something satirical or humorous that stands out from the bunch. Once again – I didn’t see a lot of this but Gizmodo did very well on Digg with their post Apple Introduces Manila Case – The World’s Thinnest Notebook Case. While Gizmodo has the advantage of a huge audience to start with – it was humor that stood out from the thousands of other posts going around the web reporting on how many ports the MacBook Air had and how it didn’t have a replaceable battery.
5. Extend and Predict – when a story breaks most bloggers get caught up in reporting the fact. Of course we all know that the facts get in the way of a good story – so why not tell a story of where you see things rolling out from here? I’ve not seen anyone do this yet with the MacBook Air (of course I’ve only read a small portion of the 0.9% of all posts written in the blogosphere yesterday so I’m sure someone has) but I think an interesting angle to take would be to analyze the direction that Apple has taken with their new line of laptops and extend it. Obviously this is just the first of a new line – what will the next MacBook Air have in terms of features? What will it look like? What will this mean for computing in the years ahead? update – Mac Rumors did this with Multitouch on the MacBook Air and Beyond
If you’d like to read more on a similar topic check out How to Add to Blogging Conversations… And Eliminate the Echo Chamber