Wednesday, April 27, 2005

BlogClip: CNN Guerrillas in the Midst

Interesting story on an apparent "guerilla marketing" op by CNN to create a buzz in the blogosphere (and to take some of their harsher critics down a few pegs in the search engine rankings). Hat tip to Fark.

Quoth Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you ... then you win."

But is that the case here? Are they fighting the blogosphere, or just attempting to subvert it? Is there really even a competition in the sense that the blogosphere represents any kind of real threat to Old Media? And just how much room is there for the "mainstream" media to leverage the blogosphere (or other alternative media) to its own advantage -- to make the blogosphere, in effect, a "search engine door" to their own content, whether bloggers intend for it to be that way or not (in some cases we certainly do)?

"In the end it's up to each of us to decide how far we're willing to go to defend the blogosphere from marketing imposters," writes Nick Lewis in the above-referenced story.

I have a fairly healthy respect for Old Media. Bloggers have the tools to publish, but it's the newspapers and the networks which still have the infrastructure to report. The average blogger can't take off for Outer Mongolia with a camera crew on a moment's notice to get the story. The blogosphere tends to act more as a bullshit filter for stories than as an originator of them, except on the (important, necessary) fringes.

Shrug. I don't mind sharing the Internet with CNN. I do worry about the capacity of large, well-bankrolled Old Media outfits to manipulate the search engines and push the blogosphere back out onto the periphery of public awareness ... but I think that's a battle we can win.

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