Working with reporters
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 by Dave Winer.
More and more reporters are accepting that a blog can be a good source of quotes. For example, today there's an interesting piece in Salon, explaining why Blockbuster is gaining on Netflix. It showed up in my referrer log, so I was pretty sure I was quoted.
I got the closing quote in the story, and it's a good one, an observation I'm proud of. I'm also happy with the way it was said. It was transcribed perfectly, because copy/paste is error-free, where a reporter grabbing soundbites in a phone interview is likely to make mistakes.
Here's the quote. "It may not be obvious, but Netflix is a social network, and the more the networks open and let the user's data be portable, the more power it gives developers to do interesting things with the data," Winer wrote. "Netflix has always had a great attitude about customers. It would make sense for them to be the first to trust us with our own data."
I stopped doing interviews about a year ago. As a result, I haven't gotten quoted as often as I used to, but I'd prefer to not be quoted than to be quoted saying something stupid, dishonest or wrong. The reporter's filters really get in the way. Their assumption that everyone they interview is selling something, or lying to them, or hiding the truth really screws up the process.
PS: Mike at Hacking Netflix was misquoted in Salon after a phone interview. It was a big misquote (he said he waited for Netflix for 3 months, they quoted him as saying he waited for Blockbuster). And how ironic that Mike misquoted me, saying that I do interviews only email. I didn't say that and I never do interviews by email.