Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blogging: where do we draw the line?

In a response to Sam Whitmore's Media Survey, which asked prominent bloggers and journalists to give advice to tech publicists, Michael Arrington of the Techcrunch blog network had this to say:

"I'll make time for people who will help me be successful in the future, it's that simple.

Michael Arrington reportedly also added that he's happy to cover a marginal client
"if I know I'll get scoops down the road."

Why do we blog?
Many bloggers blog in the hope that one day, readers will take them as seriously as they treat traditional reporters. They hope that they will ultimately create a name for themselves. They also hope that they will reach a position to challenge mainstream columnists and publishers.

Michael Arrington reportedly wants to be the Cnet of the Web 2.0 age. He built his Techcrunch brand covering the so-far endless stream of Web 2.0 startups. The jury is still out on how long this stream will gush. To boot, Michael Arrington has a long history of traversing the grey line in online reporting. Yes, 1 year is a long time in online terms. I covered the latest episode some time back.

Traditional reporters make deals when they know that in turn they are getting information. Bloggers, like Arrington must make sure that they do not cross the line and make deals only to further other ambitions.

I do not have a degree in journalism but I think reporters must be skeptical. They must seek beyond the façade of all that web 2.0 shine. They must ask questions that no one else is asking. Valleywag and Rough Cut (Nichoilas Carr’s blog) do this elegantly. If being ‘snarky’ is bad, then so be it.

It is better to be feared than loved, as far as reporting goes.

If any of you bloggers want to build a better brand, I am sorry to say that you will have to find a better role model than Techcrunch.

Read what other bloggers and journalists said in response to the survey here.


At 9:23 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Have you seen the new India search engine they added all the cool features of popular products like MySpace, YouTube, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. all for free to use and specifically for India. Anyone else try this yet? First to Blend Search, Social Network, Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.


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