Blogs are all about attracting attention and traffic, and when it comes to attracting attention, hip-hop star Kanye West’s a real master. Last summer, I posted a blog called Say It For You, Kanye West? after Sandra Rose claimed Kanye uses a ghost blogger. Last week, I blogged about a new controversy (see Do Kanye West’s Blog Ties Tell The Truth?) accusing Kanye of using content and videos from other blogs without properly crediting the sources.
One older news item about Kanye seemed to consist of a happy ending to an even older controversy. A couple of years ago, now-deceased daredevil Evel Kneivel sued Kanye West, claiming the rapper had copied the Kneivel signature look by wearing a red, white, and blue jumpsuit with an EK belt buckle for the song “Touch The Sky” in a West video album. Evel and Kanye were able to settle that trademark lawsuit through mediation.
There are several important blogging-related lessons to be gleaned here, I think. First, as I stressed in “Ties That Tell The Truth In Blogging”, people come to blogs to find information. Searchers need to be able to trust in that information, and, by inference, trust you. So even if you’re putting your own spin on what you offer in your blog, the fairest thing to do is attribute any material or ideas you got from other writers or bloggers to those sources, either by quoting them directly or by inserting links in your blog to other websites.
The most important lesson about all these hip-hop star controversies, for me, has to do with the way Evel Kneivel came to change his mind about Kanye West. In the course of the lawsuit, Kneivel had claimed that Kanye was “promoting his filth to the world”. According to USA Today.com , Kneivel was saying that, once he actually met West in person, he changed his mind about him. “I thought he was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman.”
Always keep in mind that blogs are more casual and conversational than other marketing pieces, and they are truly a mechanism for your readers to “meet” the real you. Your blog is the place for you to convey your passion for your own business or area of professional expertise. And passion, as blogging maven Ted Demopoulos is fond of saying, “is very effective for profit.”
I often reassure my business owner ghost-blogging clients that they needn’t fear critical comments that might be posted on their blogs, since even negative comments help blog rankings. Nonetheless, after following Kanye West stories for almost a year now, I found the Evel-meets-good-Kanye tale quite refreshing.