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David Spinks, Co-Founder of BlogDash: ‘The ‘Influencer’ World is a Crazy Place’

Are there already too many services and tools on the market looking to improve media and blogger relations? David Spinks thinks there is room for one more, and he makes a compelling case. BlogDash, a recently launched “blogger outreach dashboard” which Spinks co-founded with Marc Duquette, has already signed up 400 businesses.

PRNewser spoke to Spinks to learn more about the service and how it hopes to break through in a crowded market.

Tell us about BlogDash, specifically what makes it different from other blogger or media relations services?

BlogDash is a platform built to connect bloggers and brands…like a LinkedIn for the blogosphere. Most media relations services are one-sided.  They gather data about bloggers and media, and then sell that data to businesses. They don’t take into account the blogger’s needs.  By allowing bloggers to take full control of their profiles and giving them the chance to choose what kinds of opportunities they’re open to receiving, it reduces spam, and creates a more valuable connection for both sides.

BlogDash doesn’t allow mass messaging, and we take our no spam policy very seriously. Brands can use BlogDash to find, research and engage with the right bloggers. Bloggers can use BlogDash to build a professional profile, and get high quality opportunities to work with brands and other bloggers.

How do you acquire blogger information for BlogDash?

A lot of ways.  When a blogger signs up, they control all of their information and provide it themselves.  If a profile has not been claimed by a blogger, it simply displays information that’s publicly available.  We analyze a blogger’s site and RSS feed to gather information and metrics.  Some things we get automatically.  Others we gather manually.  We put a great deal of focus and resources into gathering high quality information.

Respect for bloggers is always our #1 priority.  We won’t provide info if it’s not publicly available.

How much weight do you think marketers should put into Klout scores? What are you most looking forward to in terms of innovation in that space?

The “influencer” world is a crazy place because of the size and scope of its participants.  ”The media” used to be a few big publications, and that’s all you had to worry about.  Now, “the media” has become the masses.  It’s great because there are so many more options for businesses to explore today.  It’s also really tough, and sometimes scary, because it’s extremely difficult to navigate through such a vast platform.

Klout is leading the march to solve that problem.  We share their vision. We’re just focused on the blogosphere where they’re focused on the social media space as a whole.  Both spaces are intertwined.

How much weight should you put in Klout today?  I’ve found it to be very useful.  I haven’t done an in-depth analysis with the hopes of discovering the intricacies of their algorithm, like others have, so I can’t speak to that.   My best advice is to take Klout scores into account, but don’t rely on them as the only metric. Doing manual research is still very important.

Consolidation seems to be one trend in the PR and marketing services industry, especially in light of recent acquisitions like Salesforce.com buying Radian6. How do you see the market for PR and marketing services evolving?

It’s been interesting to see all these little holes in the social media business space slowly get filled in.  The measurement space is huge now as it was one of the first tool types to be taken seriously in the social media space.  Pretty much all the biggest players in the measurement space have now been acquired.

Consolidation in the PR and marketing services industry makes sense.  When we start building these tools, we would love to create an all-encompassing tool. Imagine if there was ONE PR tool that everyone could afford that would cover listening, measurement, outreach, CRM etc…? It would be awesome! The thing is, if you try to build a tool that covers everything, you’ll end up with nothing.

So tools are being created to cover a specific aspect of PR or marketing. They’re focused. And because they’re so focused, it’s easy for a larger company to see where it would fit within their “suite” of solutions. Salesforce saw the need for a listening feature in their platform.  Radian6 filled that need.

As these niche tools mature, we’ll continue to see bigger companies who are trying to offer solutions that cover the full spectrum of PR and marketing scoop them up.

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