Tom Foremski of SiliconValleyWatcher is one of my favorite “inside SV” reads. Tom pays attention to the action ignored by PR flacks and marketing spinners – the stuff that really makes a difference at the beginning, not the end of the product or deal. Tom addresses the hard nut of credibility – or the lack of such – in Internet postings, blogs, and news items. “We just have to remember that building a media brand is a long process. The New York Times was not built in ten years,” Tom reports Shelby Bonnie, CEO of News.com telling him last summer.
But separating the good from the bad is going to be difficult. “Growing numbers of media professionals within the blogosphere raises the bar for all because the competition for reader attention will be that much fiercer and editorial standards will be that much higher. Building a personal blogging brand and cultivating a key readership within such an increasingly noisy media landscape will become increasingly difficult for individuals.” So how do we tell who’s better?
So I responded to Tom (who posted my reply) as follows, and it depends largely on those search engines: “Actually, the credibility of bloggers, commentators, shills, and journalists may simply be based by the reader on where in the google popularity hierarchy that person appears. In other words, if you don’t have a high google ranking on the first or second page, no one will read you no matter how fair and balanced you are. In an era where people live by “googling”, media “brand building” takes on an entirely new meaning. Perhaps this is why an IDG exec recently said google was a media company, and hence a competitor.