Blog quotes

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.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Blog quotes”

  1. On the plus side, it’s harder for the reporter to misquote you, and ever-so-easy for you to demonstrate when you’ve been ‘taken out of context’.

  2. This is a fundamental pressure. I like blogging (more than many other ways of expressing myself right now) because I see it as a way to be less formal. I know what I say may go far or to eyes and ears I didn’t expect and so I have some kind of filter. But it’s the kind of filter where I hold back on things that might be misunderstood if they didn’t know me. (there’s something liberating about being with a close friend and just letting loose with a barage of whatever and knowing that since that person “knows” you, they won’t get the wrong).

    I tend not to blog “negative” things or at least try never to blog mean things ’cause I am just sick of negativity. Once in a while I will make a bold statement that is pretty critical. I did that recently about a service. The owners posted a rebuttal/complaint comment. I commented back thinking we were getting a good conversation going and then they never returned.)

    I love the idea that my blog is my way of sharing what I am thinking – half-baked thoughts many times. And that the back and forth of comments shapes my ideas. The moment I have to censor ’cause it may be taken out of context and published in print is the moment it starts being less fun.

  3. On the flip side, not only what you blog is fodder for the media, what you say in public or private for that matter is now the domain of bloggers. In the game of life — thanks to the blogosphere — everything is on the record.

    Need further proof: I recently stumbled upon the following disclaimer at the bottom of an email:

    This e-mail is: [ ] private/not bloggable; [ ] bloggable/ok for re-publication; [ ] ask first.

    For the record, feel free to quote.

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