Alllllll Aboard - Welcome to the Cluelesstrain

Welcome to the , a weekly post on things that will just make you scratch your head. While it will be a Thursday feature, here's a sneak-peak into what the Cluelesstrain will bring!

We've all heard or read about the Cluetrain. It's a very big, hot-button term for the blogosphere. It's a holdover from the dotcom era - check out the Wikipedia post on it - and pretty much part of the famous buzzword bingo.

Go to any Web 2.0 style conference, and you will be sure to hear at least half the companies use a bunch of buzzwords that have no real meaning. Think longtail, and you can develop your own Web 2.0 drinking game.

So, in honor of the Cluetrain, I have decided to debut the . All aboard, as I pull back the curtain on clueless issues.



All Aboard the Cluelesstrain! (Apologies to Wesley F.) Posted by Hello

The first cluelesstrain leaving the station is this week's New York Times article on blogs. And, no, it's not the New York Times that needs to get a clue - it's the bloggers that have attacked the paper of record.

BL Ochman asks why it took the NYT so long to write on bloggers being fired, and asked her readers to send in other instances of the mainstream press following bloggers.

Steve Rubel
jumps in and links to her post. Shame on Rubel for not taking a stance, but he is bringing attention to Ochman's post.

I sent in a comment to BL to post on her blog, which has yet to see the light of day. BL chooses to moderate comments to her posts. So there are instances where my comments have not made it up onto her posts. In the era of blog transparency - and PR transparency - either post comments or don't post comments. Don't be arbitrary about it.

Ochman is criticizing the New York Times for actually calling and interviewing the people involved, rather than ranting about EFF and other crap. So, she's criticizing the NYT for responsible journalism. Let’s attack responsibility – and have journalists act more like bloggers. It would make for better reading, and well, the legal teams at the papers would get more work.

As for stories that the mainstream media picked up after the blogosphere went hyper? Yes, we have all seen stories first covered by blogs, then picked up by mainstream media - like the Trent Lott story, or the Dan Rather story.

Oh, wait, until mainstream media picked up those stories, Dan and Trent were fine and wouldn't have likely stepped down. It wasn't until mainstream media, like the NYT, picked up the story did it finally get legs.

All Aboard! Welcome to the Cluelesstrain!

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9 comments

  1. Great idea for a series of postings. I'm looking forward to many examples of Cluelessness.

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  2. Any chance you'll be taking nomiations for the weekly Cluelesstrain postings? :)

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  3. Of course I'll take nominations, but they have to be somehow related to public relations.

    Thanks!

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  4. Excellent--this should be an enjoyable feature, looking forward to it.

    Re: the first installment--one thing you touched on is blog (and PR) transparency. It's interesting that the NYT article (and many other outlets) took the EFF's recommendations about blogging anonymously at face value--never thinking through the transparency issue. It doesn't sit well with me. Am curious to know how you feel about the notion of blogging anonymously? I posted my thoughts yesterday...

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  5. I'm so lucky to have you to point out all everything you think I do wrong Jeremy. :>)

    Your comments will not appear on my blog when they become derisive and nasty, as they did in the past few days. Play nice, don’t run with scissors, and they will run, as they have in the past, even when I don't agree with you.

    If you READ my post about the Times, you will NOT see "Ochman is criticizing the New York Times for actually calling and interviewing the people involved, rather than ranting about EFF and other crap."

    You also will not see me "criticizing the NYT for responsible journalism."

    "Let’s attack responsibility" you say. Did you possibly mean to say "responsibly?"

    Take a chill pill Jeremy. You're the one who needs to attack responsibly.
    B.L. Ochman
    What's Next Blog

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  6. I'm so lucky to have you to point out all everything you think I do wrong Jeremy. :>)

    Your comments will not appear on my blog when they become derisive and nasty, as they did in the past few days. Play nice, don’t run with scissors, and they will run, as they have in the past, even when I don't agree with you.

    If you READ my post about the Times, you will NOT see "Ochman is criticizing the New York Times for actually calling and interviewing the people involved, rather than ranting about EFF and other crap."

    You also will not see me "criticizing the NYT for responsible journalism."

    "Let’s attack responsibility" you say. Did you possibly mean to say "responsibly?"

    Take a chill pill Jeremy. You're the one who needs to attack responsibly.
    B.L. Ochman
    What's Next Blog

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  7. ooops, I accidentally hit post twice.
    sorry! BL

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  8. Actually BL, those are not my nasty comments. I write my nasty ones first, and then re-edit. If you don't want to have an open forum for comments, don't have one. Close all comments.

    But, the call for being responsible is coming from someone who attacked an assistant A/E the other day like a pit bull? Who called for her firing? Was that responsible or responsibility?

    You love to harp on journalism being dead, or dead tree journalism. The reality is that blogs will never replace journalism because blogs don't follow the same standards of journalistic ethics, but more of a mob mentality.

    The fact is that bloggers seem to have very thin skin, and can't handle people criticizing them. As you so aptly just pointed out.

    Don't worry BL - this is a weekly series. I am sure that other publicists like yourself will not be happy with what I write.

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  9. I'll post a response here, because I can remember one (and I believe two) times that I posted a comment in B.L.'s blog and it wasn't 'moderated' into the light of day.

    And, I can state with certaintity that my comments were not mean and did not contain any "derisive and nasty" remarks. Did they disagree with her sentiments? Yes, but politely so.

    So, if I ever feel a need to comment on her writings it seems easier to do so in my own blog, or (like this instance) in other blogs that do accept all views.

    B.L., I've read many of your thoughts in the past - as do many others. You might wish to take heart in the fact that people are interested in what you have to say. Then, accept the open dialogue that results.

    Now, to the 'real' point of this article and series, Jeremy - your points are well taken. There is a lot of koolaid drinking going on. The blogs are fun and serve many purposes, but they are not panaceas and will not save the business world. They are a tactic. That's it.

    If a blogger is going to call himself/herself a journalist, then they should ascribe to even the most basic of unwritten tenets: Post your opinions and do it fairly and with supporting evidence (at the beginning). B.L.'s attack (and that's what it was) on the sender of a press release the other day was one example where she didn't fully explain (or explore) before posting.

    Hey, have we all made mistakes before? Yes. I know I have. And I appreciate corrections and opposing views. Not all bloggers seem to, though.

    Bloggers have criticized MSM in the past for being 'thin-skinned' and arrogant. Today, there are bloggers that have been tagged as 'upper tier' and they too are adopting the same characteristics, in my opinion.

    Check out this Washington Post article where more thin skinned examples (on all sides) abound. At least their opposing views are seeing the light of day.

    It is the nature of most of the blogworld that people can have this freedom to criticize. Doesn't seem right to only accept the parts that suit your personal needs. If you are out there, you are out there. Live with it and what comes along or stop blogging.

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