A demi-clue?

MediaMap "gets" blogs. Or at least they're trying to.

An interesting attempt by one of the essential service providers in the PR world, to understand and assimilate the blogosphere.

It shows they're recognizing the significance of blogs as a new layer of reportage being defined by a new kind of journalist (as well as a number of been there, done that inkblot journalists).

According to their boilerplate, "MediaMap delivers innovative Communications Management solutions that help public relations professionals more effectively manage, track and analyze communications with key audiences and promote corporate reputation growth and shareholder value."


Well...despite their inability to communicate what they do for a living in their own press releases, MediaMap is actually a fairly important company in my curious world. This makes their announcement a significant one.

Say, for example, you're a flack who suddenly finds himself in the midst of the country's biggest unfolding transportation story, without the benefit of too many strong relationships amongst the transportation media - MediaMap can come to the rescue.

They keep a deep database of print, broadcast, and online media, by geography and by sector, with up-to-date contact info and, in some cases, useful tips about the individual journalist's interests and preferences.

MediaMap deserves credit for publicly acknowledging the rise and relevance of blogs in the PR world. It’s just such a shame that they still manage to drive their train straight into a couple of 16 foot cluewalls.

First, they state their plan to: “…cover blogs written by accredited journalists in the MediaMap North American Media directory” (my emphasis). Which begs a number of questions.

First off: in the blogosphere, how does one define “accreditation”?

I’m deliberately side-stepping their intent here, of course – I get what they mean, but I can’t fathom it. I know they’re referring to accredited mainstream journalists who also happen to blog – but if that’s all they’re doing, then what is the point of this release?

If you already have info for an “accredited” scribbler in your database, are you just going to update the record to add a pointer to their blog? Where’s the added value in that?

Doc is an important reporter for anyone in the Linux world to know. If I want to reach the influential voices or potential customers in the Linux space, I want to find something interesting to talk to Doc about, in the hope he’ll pick up the conversation, and it will spill over into something he writes for print or online.

Does the fact that Doc is also a top o’ the heap blogger have much to do with this? Nah.

Sure, there’s some value in knowing which “accredited” journalists happen to blog. But am I going to pitch their blog? No. If I "pitch" at all, I’m going to pitch the person based on their domain of expertise or influence.

The relationship of blog to blogger is not like, say, the relationship of publication to reporter.

And if an influential blogger, read and linked to by thousands every day, is not an “accredited” journalist – will they be left out of the system?

Where does this leave someone like Glenn Reynolds, say – with a daily “circulation” of around 55,000 readers and more than 2,000 inbound blog links? Not “accredited”, but one of the 10 most influential voices in the blogosphere.

So there's Cluewall #1

The second big brick cluewall they’ve just smashed their brains against, is evident in this statement:

” MediaMap Performa is a Web-based application that is a one-stop communications solution to manage media relationships, distribute messages and measure results.”

“Distribute messages”. Ahem. Is that what I do for a living?

Still. I applaud their efforts to figure all this stuff out. It’s a start.

I notice their Content Director is on the same panel as me at the Jupiter Weblogs Conference next week – I hope to get to ask him some of my questions.