bloggers vs press

Dennis Howlett blogged about the spirit of sharing among bloggers at events. As compared with the competitiveness of conventional journalists. He linked to Jeff Nolan‘s report on SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference. More about that in a moment.

One reason that the behaviour is different is that conventional papers want their ‘scoops’ and just hate publishing stuff that others have got first. Of course print journalists are secretive. They have to be.

Bloggers are different because they serve their own micro- (and, sometimes, not-so-micro-) audiences. They are also willing to give credit to other bloggers who cover the same territory.

Now for Jeff Nolan’s post on the impact of allowing bloggers into SAPPHIRE. Here’s a longish extract:

1) The bloggers earned respect quickly with our executives coming
out of the one-on-one meetings we had scheduled saying “damn, these
guys really know what they are talking about”. I sat in on a couple of
the meetings and was surprised to see our executives quickly dropping
their media training and engaging in real conversations with give and
take. One in particular I would point out is the talk that Vinnie Mirchandani had with Pascal Brosset about pricing and licensing, I’m sure that Vinnie will post that shortly.

2) The bloggers collaborate rather than compete.
I would have never thought about this had I not seen it in action but
the bloggers on their own initiatives rescheduled their one-on-one
meetings to double up rather than have exclusive time. This contrasts
with traditional press people who demand exclusive access and jealously
guard their Q&A, the bloggers conspire together about questions and
have a rich dialog among themselves about what they are hearing.

3) The respect that the bloggers earned on the first day
reverberated throughout the company, with some of our most senior
executives saying that bringing bloggers to sapphire was the most
innovative thing we have done at this event in years.

As a media skills trainer/advisor, I was alarmed to read “[I] was surprised to see our executives quickly dropping
their media training and engaging in real conversations with give and
take.” But then, that’s what I’d advocate anyway. The important thing is to know where your boundaries are and what is of interest to the reader. No need to drop your guard, but nothing wrong with making it look as if you have.

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