By: Marc Choyt
To the progressive shopper, the jewelry industry is associated with blood diamonds, dirty gold, and lead poisoned jewelry imported from China. In May, 2007, I started a blog that supports the movement to ethical sourced jewelry. I found a lot of support from people within this sector who have similar values but have not had a place to have a voice.
Naturally, the focus of jewelry trade magazines is mainly on issues of fashion and business. They cannot provide a lot of space to a small movement within the industry to promote radical change simply because the industry as a whole does not want radical change.
I suspect that there are many other business sectors where people are doing visionary work that is not being covered by mainstream press. Many of the current business approaches and structures are so confining that they limit the creative and spiritual potential. Blogging has been picked up in the tech industry and also, of course, in the political spheres, but what about manufacturing? What about other business sectors where great change is taking place under the surface?
Blogs can empower those working for radical positive transformation. They reward transparency and penalizes corruption. Blogs are the great democratic equalizer, the ultimate free press. They strip away spin like varnish remover on antiquated marketing techniques. Many jewelry companies are pushing their latest “green” or “eco” angle without talking about what they are doing in China, or how their mines might be causing toxic runoff in some developing country. You gain power (readership) by muckraking and breaking stories.
Reputations are made now on google. Rankings are everything. It is more and more risky to hide or lie. Just consider what has recently happened to the CEO of Whole Foods who was anonymously blogging about the stock prices of Wild Oats before he purchased the company. Secrets are becoming a thing of the past. Radical transparency has even, in some sectors, become the ultimate marketing tool.
To start, all you need is a high school kid to help you set up one of the free services. Some of the better platforms include blogger.com, wordpress.com, typepad.com, vox.com. Once you have written a few articles, issue a press release. Email people to read what you've written and build the readership yourself. Be a gatherer of stories. Everybody wants a place where they can put forth their views. If you are serving your community and you have some passion around the issues, you will find a readership.
Always be positive. In other words, create information on the blog that can be useful and proactive. It is easy to complain. But it is much more useful to provide solutions. Moveon.org is a good example of an activist blog. They always have an action associated with each of their posts. Many of my posts offer solutions to issues.
Also, it is important that your blog is niched. The jewelry blog is actually my second blog. My first blog had writing about corporate socially responsibility and mixed it with ethics about jewelry production. But they are two audiences. So I separated the blogs. In other words, keep your blogs focused.
Once you start, it is a commitment. You have to post at least once a week; preferably, more. As someone who already has more than a full time job running a company of ten people, posting a few times a week is a huge commitment, which is part of the reason I welcome the writings of other people. But blogging can serve a critical part of your search engine optimization strategy. The articles you write can be submitted to directories that can bring links and traffic back to your main revenue producing websites.
I have found that writing the blog has potentially huge spin off benefits for my company. I do not view my blog as self promotion, but when journalists are looking for authorities on particular subjects, they will check the internet.
Reading the news these days, it can be discouraging, but many great initiatives are taking place right now. Paul Hawkins talked those who are working for positive social justice and change as being the immune system of the planet. We can support each other and communicate among ourselves on the web, where we are all connected.
Author Resource:-> Marc Choyt is President of Reflective Images, www.celticjewelry.com, a jewelry company that practices socially responsible business.Marc authors www.fairjewelry.org a movement website for consumers and jewelers supporting green and fair trade jewelry. He also originated The Circle Manifesto, www.circlemanifesto.com, a business model based on indigenous traditions.
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