Brian Clark over at Copyblogger.com has an interesting post about psychological experiments giving people power and authority ("You Must Repect My Authority.") He reminds us of the Stanley Milgram studies at Yale where participants were asked to deliver increasingly strong electric shocks to people who missed a question on a test.
Given enough authority to do so, the participants for the most part had no problem in delivering pain to subjects. (The experiment involved actors who played the part of a suffering person.)
He then turns around and says that blogs offer similar authority to their writers. Okay, it's a stretch in logic, but the point is well taken. Writers do gain perceived authority, and what easier and better way to do this than in the public blogosphere? Here's what he says:
Content Creates Context
Good blogging creates authority, plain and simple. Writing consistently about your area of expertise makes you an authority figure within your industry and niche. You will enjoy a definitive advantage over competitors who do not blog, and likely even over those who have been blogging for shorter time periods.
Professionals and other business people have long been writing for trade publications and newspaper columns to build authority, coupled with networking in the community and at trade shows and conferences, all in an attempt to build word-of-mouth referral business. With blogging, you’re building authority and networking all at once, and on a global scale if your business model benefits from that kind of reach.
The goal is not to be on the A-List as determined by the Technorati Top 100 Blogs. Your goal is to be on the A-List for your niche, geographic region or industry. Hopefully you’re well on the way with your own blog.