Blogger Goofs On Twitter Ads

    April 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

The latest gaff in online journalism comes courtesy of prominent tech blog, emphasizing once again an important point: When bloggers are under pressure to be first and fast, the journalistic process is undermined and due diligence is neglected.

The blog in question, though its inaccurate headline was posted ubiquitously on not only a popular tech blog-news aggregator but also the semi-human-edited New York Times Blogrunner, declared Twitter was testing advertising in Twitter streams.

As numerous blogs subsequently pointed out, including the erring blogger’s previous stomping ground—Blog Herald—it seems to have been a case of mistaken perceptions. What appeared to a pair of sources as advertisements may have actually been a Twitter user’s background image.

The beauty of the blogosphere is that such errors can be highlighted eventually, and the error was highlighted via updates at many blogs, and at least at Silicon Alley Insider, the news was discredited by Twitter founder Biz Stone himself.

There are no ads now or current plans to put ads on Twitter.

As Blog Herald noted, the only update passing as a correction comes in the comments section, where the author almost acknowledges a mistake, but before doing so opines that ads on Twitter are just a matter of time.

Which sort of, in some kind of logic, makes it true.

In this critical time of shifting media, Nate Westheimer, blogger, CEO of BricaBox, in-house Technology Strategist at National Public Media, and Evangelist of the cafeBricolage Project, writes in relation to this that the New Media’s final hurdle for true credibility can be summed up in one word: veracity.

In two words: journalistic standards.

"[I]ndeed this seems to be the future of journalism: journalism on the web — with fact-checking, standards, editors, etc; not what we’re seeing out of [this blogger] and so many others, which is just blogging, and consistently produces material even Jason Blair would feel uncomfortable about."

It does seem eventual that, in order for online publications to thrive in an increasingly competitive news environment, they will have to focus less on the short-term traffic bursts Google News, TechMeme, and Digg will provide, and more on their overall credibility. The practice of pump-and-post, like the bloggers who allow themselves to be part of the Internet word-mill, has a rather short life expectancy

The same goes for all media, though, not just bloggers, focusing on the 24/7 news cycle and expecting that the whole truth and nothing but the truth comes out eventually. In the meantime, anything goes. But eventually, people (the news consumer) will tire of it.