One problem with Internet publishing

I am a huge proponent of Internet publishing – obviously. I’ve built an entire business around creating online media sites and supporting publishing companies with software that facilitates and improves the publishing process. But there is a problem with Internet publishing that many people have referenced in the past, but came to light for me last week with a first-hand experience.

left sign pointing rightI was working on an article for The Industry StandardWhen will BlackBerry App World launch? And I found a lot of reports from various media organizations, including Gizmodo, that the App World store was set to launch on March 4. It didn’t. So then I was looking everywhere for the reports that the store launch was delayed, trying to find out what happened to RIM to delay the launch.

But I didn’t find any stories about the App World delays.

So that oddity caused me to send a quick note off to a BlackBerry PR rep to ask her about the March 4 launch date. Her response:

“RIM announced the official name of the application storefront – BlackBerry App World – on March 4th. The company did not set March 4th as a launch date. I did see some articles that mistakenly said the store was announced on the 4th, but that was just the date the official name was released xanax bars (the storefront was actually first announced in fall 2008). BlackBerry App World is on track to launch within the next month.”

I sent the note and heard back from the rep about 1.5 hours later. Easy. But this experience brought home the point that Fred Wilson made on March 4 (ironically) about talking to the source to get a story right. It is so easy to send a quick note to a company or an individual to check on the facts of a story before publishing, but it’s easier to NOT send that note. Trust me – I’m as guilty of this as the next guy. I just happened to notice a discrepancy when I was researching the story; otherwise it’s doubtful that I would have sent that note to the PR rep at all.

This is definitely a problem with online publishing. Not that one publication could make a mistake – that happens in print publishing, too. But that one publication makes a mistake, which is then picked up over, and over, and over again by various online media outlets without anyone ever checking the facts.

The solution to this problem is the readers. It will be up to all of us to determine the reliable publications, and support them by reading the ones that are good, and not the others.

Photo by srslyguy

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