May 30 2007
For the second time this year I am about to be quoted in the national business press based on what I’ve blogged, not what I said in an interview with a reporter. Apparently the blog quote was better than anything from the interview, so the reporter told our press guy today that she was going to use something from this blog and not the interview. I can’t blame the reporter, I’d do the same thing if the better quote had been found elsewhere.
But, here’s the challenge and the importance of the lesson learned — every blogged word is, by its act of publication (with an emphasis on the “public” in publication) — an on-the-record utterance.
Hence, if I continue to blog in the same voice and tone, I can expect to get quoted saying that things bluntly suck or rock, or that the best use of Second Life is trying to get virtually “laid”, or that X is a moron, Y a frigtard, and Z a knuckle-dragging mouth breather.
This gives me pause, particularly since I tend to put a different filter on my spoken utterances in the presence of a reporting reporter, very conscious of the Jedi mind tricks I used to use on my sources back in the day when my career depended on my ability to get people to say interesting stuff which in turn would make my stories more interesting. Gone are the days when I would try to get a politician to repeat, on the record, a hysterically biting comment about a rival’s misdeeds. No, now I just need find their blog and pick the right line to stick in between the quote marks.
Corporate goons like me get media training all the time from ex-hacks, who tell execs how to turn questions to their advantage and turn interview to their own agenda. How long before corporate bloggers get blog-media training?
Moral of the story — if you blog, you are talking to the press. Happened to me earlier this year when a reporter wanted me to talk about my participation as beta tester of a blog monitoring service. I passed on the request so he quoted the blog and got what he needed without any heavy lifting. Yesterday, did 15 minutes with a reporter, a press person on the other line, dodged some questions I didn’t really want to answer by being serpentine, and today the reporter told our press guy that she was going to quote my blog.
This is what it is. I wrote what I wrote. I stand by my words. But I didn’t blog what I did thinking it would be published in a national magazine.
Anyway, there it is. Takes one to know one.