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Newswires, Press Releases & Problemos

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I needed a day or so to grok the launch of TheWeblogWire, for the unacquainted, it’s basically a newswire service for the blogosphere.

While conceptually speaking I like the idea of a newswire for bloggers, practically speaking, the value of this sort of service seems, well, marginal — if for no other reason than a gut belief that very few bloggers actually *want* to read press releases. Call me crazy.

But even with that said, you could argue that the newswire model, be it for bloggers or otherwise, has some serious problems, one’s a content problem, the other’s bigger IMO, it has to do with distribution.

The content problem is pretty obvious. The market value of a press release is diminishing. Journalists say this. Customers say this. Investors say this. Companies hear this. Newswire services are dependent on a commodity that has a steadily decreasing value. I think Todd Deferen’s efforts around the social media press release has the potential to restore some value, but it’s only one of a series of steps required to rehabilitate the press release. And then there’s the issue of distribution.

When you’re competing with, say, the in-ter-net, for information dissemination, that’s a problem.

The number of competing outlets for news dissemination, be it text, video, audio, or otherwise, is just growing too quickly. For now, Reg FD is a *huge* driving force (cough, shackle) for the continuing use of existing newswire services, but as the definition of fair disclosure evolves (and it has to), you can see how fast things might change.

Also, throw into the mix some of the thinking that’s going on right now around microformats like hrelease (thank you Chris Heuer), and its potential to disintermediate newswires, and there’re just cause to question the longer-term health of the newswire business.

Things won’t change overnight, but they’ll change….

Related Posts:

Social Media Press Release (NewPRWiki)

Old Wine, New Vessels (Brian Oberkirch)

The press release is dead! Long live the press release! (Shel Holtz)

The beleaguered press release…(Susan Getgood)

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Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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