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Re: Rick Sanchez — What’s The Difference Between a Corporate Cell Phone and a Corporate Twitter Account?
I have to admit – I was not a regular viewer of the Rick Sanchez show on CNN. One of my experiences watching the show resulted in a post titled, “shame on you Rick Sanchez” which looked at how Mr. Sanchez dealt with Twitter being down and a story about a plane crash killing 15 people. In general I am not a fan of shows that just read content from Twitter and Facebook.
Apparently Rick Sanchez was fired from CNN today based on some comments he made. You can read the story here and here.
Blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick immediately wondered what will happen to the “RickSanchezCNN” (RSCNN) account. My comment on Marshall’s post was short, the account belongs to CNN. The reason is simple…the RSCNN account is the same property as a corporate cell phone or laptop. Sure it’s in the “virtual” computer space but the account belongs to CNN. If Sanchez gave out the number to his corporate cell phone to his family and friends, should he be able to keep that as well?
The RSCNN account isn’t alone – any of these accounts that are pushed by the corporation belong to the corporation. For example, QVC pushes their hosts to use hostnameQVC as their Facebook accounts – these belong to QVC.
This morning at the Internet Week HQ in NYC, ReadWriteWeb co-editor Marshall Kirkpatrick provided a keynote discussion regarding his thoughts and research around the real-time web. The event was setup in the barcamp style with several discussion rooms to house breakout sessions throughout the day. You can watch some of the sessions on Justin.tv.
Marshall began the presentation with his definition of “real-time web”:
The real-time web is the Web in which data is delivered to its recipients (be they human or machine) in real or near real time, as soon as it becomes available.
Earlier today we learned that company database service TradeVibes was acquired by tech blog VentureBeat. Last year Duncan Riley provided a comparison of TradeVibes and competitor Crunchbase which is run by tech blog Techcrunch. TradeVibes has been rebranded and is now called VentureBeat Profiles. Riley noted today that the acquisition story was pitched as a competitor to Techcrunch.
When I read the acquisition announcement, I immediately thought about the tech blogs that use TradeVibes to power their company directories. When TradeVibes launched it seemed many of the popular startup tech blogs created partnerships with TradeVibes. I can only assume that a good bit of the traffic and attention with regards to TradeVibes came from these same partnerships.
Here are a few of the tech blogs that use TradeVibes/VentureBeat Profiles:
Will the tech blogs currently using TradeVibes remain onboard that the service is owned by a “rival”? Could it usher in a new level of partnership between all of the TradeVibes powered blogs? Or will the blogs leave the service? The next couple of months should be interesting in the tech blogging space.
One of the most popular questions I am asked is if a startup should give their news to one outlet as an exclusive or if they should go to everyone. My response always starts with, "what if they get it wrong?" When you give your news to one outlet and they get it wrong, you are screwed. I am not talking about whether it’s a positive or negative story, but rather that they get the actual story wrong. It’s the reason why I think Y Combinator startups are continuously making bad decisions by going to their one outlet for all of their news.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of stories that were just plain wrong. We saw it with the distributed user information by Last.fm. More recently we saw it with Jeremiah Owyang making claims about Mzinga which he had to later publicly apologize for. But the damage was still done – to what level is unknown.
This morning I read a post by Marshall Kirkpatrick from Readwriteweb which is titled, "How to Sell Your Soul on Twitter and Who’s Buying". The post describes that major Internet companies like Apple and Google along with Internet startups like Box.net are buying Twitter messages in a paid post style using the Magpie service. Marshall notes, "These popular companies just couldn’t resist paying off Twitter users to put advertisements into their Twitter streams using the new pay-per-tweet service Magpie." And he concludes with, "And to the advertisers out there – is this cynical scheme the best you can do to engage with all the new ways people are communicating online? That’s pretty bad."
Just one problem with his post that I caught immediately before I even finished and it seems his commenters also picked up on immediately as well. He is wrong. Very wrong.
It’s not the actual companies buying Twitter messages. The messges are bought by affiliates who try to grab quick income by pushing out their affiliate codes everywhere they can. There’s no real way for anyone running an affiliate program to catch all of the bad affiliates before they start spamming the world with their affiliate code. I know Commission Junction spends a lot of time on making sure they remove as many of the spammers as possible. You can’t hold what affiliates do against the company except in some very rare circumstances.
Mark Hopkins has similar thoughts regarding the story.
Marshall has since added a note that has no highlighting nor is an apology for jumping the gun without researching. I sure hope he (or Richard MacManus, the blog owner) will fix the story to, at a minimum, make the update stand out. Frankly the story should be deleted or completely reworked.
Now here’s where it gets worse for the affected brands. Marshall’s story hit the Digg frontpage (which means massive traffic for RWW) and has since been linked to by a number of sources. For example, CBS Interactive’s BNET site has a story written by Erik Sherman where he continues the misreporting. It’s shocking that a MSM site like BNET didn’t actually check out the links before they posted their article.
Update: Erik notes in his post that he did click the links, "Allen, but I spent a chunk of time clicking through links and seeing where they ended up."
So even if Marshall deletes or makes major changes to the story, how do we make sure all of the other writers also update? Everyone get a story wrong from time to time, the key is how it’s handled.
With more and more blogs needing more and more pageviews to stay afloat, will this trend of pushing out stories as quickly as possible continue? I certainly hope not.
Now let me get dead serious for a minute… what if it instead of Box.net, the story was about your startup?
I am going to work on a list of tips on how to handle when a blogger or journalist (including myself) gets it wrong.
Last week my column for Information Week was titled, "Always Think Before You Submit" and took a look at examples of people who made mistakes when they have said things online that have impacted their careers. The column includes a look at the recently fired Virgin Atlantic staff after they said things on Facebook.
Today we learn via Rick at Readwriteweb that the delete function has been removed from Twitter. Why they did this is beyond me… Rick guesses it might have something to do with performance. Users have also been wondering what’s going on via Twitter Search.
So now more than ever, THINK BEFORE YOU TWIT. This advice might sound silly but considering how much of an emotional tool Twitter has become, don’t let it ruin your career. What sounds funny today might be looked at very differently in the near future. Type your message in, leave it for a moment, take a breathe and then click submit.
Update: The delete function has been restored so feel free to say whatever you want now. (duh)
We’ve learned via Yakov at Quintura that the AltSearchEngines blog has moved into independent status. This info has been confirmed by AltSearchEngines editor Charles Knight.
The site launched in June 2007 and Compete shows 40,000 unique visitors in September 2008.
This news comes just days after the launch of the ReadWriteWeb Jobwire which will share stories of new hirings across the social media and new technology categories. In the first week since launch we’ve learned that BrightKite hired Tom Anderson, Mike Mueller has moved over to Fidelity National Title and Brickfish hired a social media director.
I’ve enjoyed reading AltSearchEngines and learning about specialty/niche engines. I wish Charles and the team much success moving forward.
Update: Duncan Riley caught up with ReadWriteWeb owner who said he (Richard) will have more details about the changes on RWW later this evening.
Yesterday ReadWriteWeb Content VP Marshall Kirkpatrick posted the results of a survey that apparently looked at "Top Tier Bloggers and Social Media Consultants" and the current pay they receive. The title doesn’t mention tech bloggers but Marshall notes that the survey only went to "20 top-tier tech bloggers and social media consultants". I wonder what makes someone a top social media consultant. More importantly only 10 people participated in the survey. That in itself makes the survey unreliable and probably should not have been posted without more responses. But hey, it hit Digg, apparently that instantly makes it reliable and accurate.
So what do we know about, and from, this survey?
- The survey went to 20 people (including me, I didn’t reply) and only 10 apparently replied
- The 10 participants posted on a wiki page and we have no idea if it was actually 10 unique individuals
- Site founders weren’t included
- We have no way to tell what makes someone a "top-tier tech blogger or social media consultant" – i.e. there’s no benchmark
- RWW was able to grab data for use with their own bloggers in future negotiation
- Apparently RWW bloggers weren’t included in said survey unless Marshall makes a max of $90k
- Less than 24 hours were offered to participate
- There are numerous disclaimers within the survey findings
- Apparently the survey was sent to only Web 2.0 bloggers, not tech bloggers in general
- No mention on U.S or International
One apparent respondent says they make $15/post but $300/hr consulting. That’s hilarious. The real issue is that without knowing A LOT more about the responses and detailed information about the overall situation, it makes it near impossible to take this data for anything. What scares me is that Jeremiah Owyang calls this a "great post" – isn’t he supposed to be an analyst?
Would a blogger pay survey be a good idea? Absolutely! But it needs to be well thoughtout, have appropriate questions and answers, be statistically relevant, and get a diverse range of responses.