What if I Blogged About the Press?

Every day members of the press get to write about their interactions with Microsoft -- often interactions with me. What would happen if I blogged about my interactions with them?


Comments (13)
  1. wouldn’t that make you a member of the press?

  2. Would it? Or would I be a media commentator? Or just another hack with a blog?

  3. Dave Winer started blogging so that he could talk about the press.

    It’s a little wiggy. I try to ask about whether I can blog my interactions with the press. Sometimes they don’t want any blogging because they are trying to get an exclusive. The Fortune journalist worked with me under that. I was free to give my point of view once the article was published, but couldn’t say I was being interviewed before it came out.

    I think that as long as you set the ground rules up front (ie, at the start of the interview) then it’ll be just fine.

  4. But what if you set up a rating system on whether they were accurate (e.g. quoted you accurately), understood what you were saying (e.g. didn’t ask a question like, "What’s the Registry?"), and did solid analysis (not sure how to measure that)?

  5. Jon Udell says:

    1. Michael Rys is already doing what you suggest: watchdogging the press, vis-a-vis Yukon and related technologies.

    2. The "tape recorder" can, and probably should, be running on both ends of the interview nowadays.

  6. And yet, is that enough? You, Jon, are a very sharp cookie who knows technology and asks astute questions. What if, at the end of every interview, I blogged the questions asked, the answers I gave, and my opinions of the astuteness of the writer? I think it would have quite a chilling effect on a lot of folks.

  7. Would it be fair? Absolutely. Would it have a chilling effect? Yes. Would it be smart? Uh…

    For one thing, the SD press is an insular community and opining on the "astuteness of the writer" is going to make enemies of people who have a lot of anonymous by-lines and years of editorial meetings in front of them.

    For another, encouraging writers to hide their ignorance is a _huge_ step backwards. Maintaining the nerve to reveal your ignorance to smart people is one of the hardest things about being in the SD press. Do you really want to encourage a world where writers just pretend they understand the implications of a technology? Where once a buzzword has appeared in the press three times they stop questioning its place in the world?

    On a more pragmatic level, providing an alternate transcript would certainly be perfectly legitimate, but I would hope you would embargo posting until after the writer’s article appears, just as most press publications have a policy of respecting embargo dates requested by companies.

  8. Now that is an interesting idea. Scoble mentioned it as well. I used to love it when Steve Gillmor would videotape me (after hating it, that is) because it meant he ALWAYS got the quotes right.

  9. Rod Trent says:

    What would happen? It would be great! Most of the "press" are liberal hacks who just want to be heard. They’ll put up any article they think will pull in the most hits — and only controversial articles tend to bring in the most hits — whether they are true or not. Feel free. Blog about them until the cows come home.

  10. Um, do you know that I was in the computer trade press for about 10 years?

  11. Maybe he read your articles previously 😉

    I have seen, far too often, stories blown out of proportion by the press in non-IT, that I would welcome a chance to see the interviewee get the real story out to match it.

    I DO think that this might seriously curtail the number of interviews you do as well. <grin>

  12. Joris Evers says:

    John, you’re scaring me now 🙂 — Thinking back to our conversation yesterday and how it went in all kinds of weird directions: Is Microsoft relaunching Hailstorm at VSLive?

    Seriously, if you are misquoted or if there are errors in a story, you should feel free to blog about that. I would even want to hear from you in that case.

    But blogging about the actual interview, I don’t know. This is not a contest about who is smartest and I think you should respect a journalist who is not shy to ask a question you may think is stupid: it means he/she is trying to get the story right.

    So in my mind it is perfectly ok for a reporter to ask you what the registry is.

  13. The whole "is Microsoft relaunching Hailstorm" thing was my bad (as I mentioned). And sure it’s OK to ask questions and not to understand things — one of the best ways to learn is to ask questions. At the same time, there are members of the press with an agenda — some are anti-this or pro-that — and that agenda makes its way into stories. I edited plenty of stories before I came to Microsoft where, as an editor, I had to balance the slant. And on the other side of the table, I’ve read many articles where the author has chosen to be rather selective in which facts make their way into stories.

    My interviews yesterday only triggered a question in my mind (it’s not like I was saying anything controversial yesterday). I wasn’t picking on anybody specific, and certainly not you.

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