Biz Blogs

Other than the fun of sharing one’s opinion (whether it’s sought after or not), the beauty of blogging often lies in the ability to caress, after the fact, how one’s portrayed in the formerly indelible mainstream media.

We all know what happened after a brash Cubby-seeking maverick took issue with his less-than-positive profile by The Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. He retaliated by simply posted on his blog the unedited e-mail exchange between himself and Mr. Sorkin in a bold move to set the record straight…sans the media filter.

Two years later, this issue resurfaced big time when a Wired magazine reporter’s requests for a couple of live interviews were rebuffed in favor of an e-mail only exchange. The reporter passed.
In fact, many companies today smartly use their new media empowerment tools to correct misimpressions or factual inaccuracies. I’m not sure how much it will help the beleaguered CEO of Whole Foods, but he still gave it the old college try.

Earlier this summer, I spent a fair amount of time waxing on the state of business media for a forthcoming piece by USA Today’s NY-based media reporter David Lieberman. After all, Conde Nast’s Portfolio had just bowed, Rupert was moving ahead with the Fox Business Channel, and the big three — Forbes, Fortune and Business Week — were languishing (along with other dead tree mediums) in the ad-page department.

David and I talked about a range of issues including how business magazines with active (and revenue-producing) conference divisions are better positioned to weather this stormy transition before online ad revenue truly kicks in. We chatted about Portfolio’s prospects, as well as the paucity of high-traffic business blogs. I noted that the blogs that really flourish tend to be in one of the following categories: technology, politics, gossip and consumer electronics.

David’s piece finally broke yesterday, pegged to Rupert’s triumph over the Bancrofts, and a quote of mine survived:

“You don’t see a lot of stand-alone, business-specific blogs,” says Peter Himler of Flatiron Communications, a public relations firm that specializes in corporate announcements. “It comes back to the audience for this kind of news. It’s still wedded to traditional and mainstream media.”

True, but it’s worth noting (qualifying, massaging, finessing, back-peddling, spinning!) that there are a plethora of business-related blogs that come in just about every flavor. It’s just that they don’t, for now, command the number of readers or links enjoyed by the likes of a Huffington, Arrington or Levin.

So there. The record’s set straight (at least in my mind). David’s piece, btw, is a worthwhile read, my innocuous quote notwithstanding.