Monday, January 29, 2007

Why won't you link me?

Oh dear, former Microsoft employee, and A-List tech blogger Rob Scoble has thrown his toys out of the pram because some sites didn't link to him on a story he broke about new Intel chip design features. You'll note that Scoble has made lots of edits to his original post admitting he went "overboard".

The following day he posted this, which, if you ask me, kind of stoked the flames a little more. However he does make an interesting point about how bloggers really ought to link the blog that broke a story rather than a mainstream media outlet that is repeating it without accreditation.

The thing is, whilst the mainstream media does often lift stories, and sometimes credit a blog as a source, do they really have a duty to do so? After all, think about how it works for the competing mainstream press.

If the Times, for example, breaks a story on Tuesday, it's quite likely to be repeated by everyone else on Wednesday (or Tuesday evening in the Standard). When that happens it's rare for those papers repeating the story to refer to the Times as the source (unless the story has been run under an "Exclusive" banner I think).

Should we really be surprised therefore if blogs and/or formal news websites don't always credit the online source of their story? In the case of the Scoble example, the bloggers who linked to the NY Times (which didn't credit Scoble either) may not even have known Scoble broke the story. As far as they were concerned the story came from wherever they read it first.


Paul Linford said...

I see where you're coming from, but for the sake of argument, let's just turn the question round.

Would a blogger who was following up a dead-tree story not normally cite the source of that story and link to it in their post? I would, Iain Dale would, Mike Smithson of certainly would. In fact I think most of us generally would as a rule.

This is partly why it is so damned annoying when they lift our stories without crediting us.

dizzy said...

Agreed Paul, a blogger would normally do it (I do it (I think I do it all the time)), but, to quote an unnamed deadtree press journalist who shall remain nameless, part of that is about avoding a "trail of shame" on Google.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that the mainstream media do not recognise bloggers as equals. You have to remember as well, a lot of people still don't know what a blog is, it would mean nothing to them.

Btw, I am trying to view you on 18 Doughty Street this evening but it keeps buffering, so far no luck.