Who Broke the Yahoo-MyBlogLog Story?

17 Nov ’06

On a few occasions recently I’ve noted how Mike Arrington has persistently scooped the financial media on tech deals – most famously, perhaps, in the Google-YouTube deal. And just this morning I noted that Valleywag was now in the game, too. And an interesting game it is for media watchers, with others such as GigaOm and PaidContent in the thick of it as well. I see it as an example of how social media is displacing the traditional news media from one of its last bastions – original news collection.

So – who broke the day’s acquisition this time? I first noticed it at around 1:30 (Eastern Time), when the story appeared on Techmeme, with Valleywag in the headline and TechCrunch and GigaOm as subheadings. The Valleywag post credits tipsters for the story, which is not time-stamped. Katie Fehrenbacher covered it for GigaOm (in a post time-stamped 9:56 am, presumably Pacific Time) and linked back to Valleywag for credit. Marshall Kirkpatrick covered it for TechCrunch and didn’t link to Valleywag, noting only that “news has emerged” of the acquisition. From where isn’t clear, and his post wasn’t time-stamped either. This is looking like a Valleywag scoop, but it’s not clear. And I suppose the lack of time stamps helps the loser out with that (!).

One other thing – I think I’m right that members of the mainstream news media typically credit each other for their scoops (hopefully my friend Mathew or someone else will set me straight if I’m wrong), unless they then get their own scoops, or report on the basis of a later official news release. I suppose we’re going to have to wait and see whether the blogtropolis’ custom of linking for original credit will survive the evolution of social news into for-profit businesses (and of course whether they can all survive for long covering such similar ground – but that’s a different post).

Update: The story has changed a little – Yahoo!’s PR people have apparently been making the rounds stressing that the parties are in discussions, but have not yet reached a deal. Rafat updates here, and note also his comment here about coverage of the Calacanis story, a propos of the issue of reporting rumour versus verfified news.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Hyndman November 21, 2006 at 11:28

I suspected that, but one never knows :)

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Pete November 21, 2006 at 11:27

Yeah, a lot of people missed the VW story and credited TC, which was probably the intention. The original TC story included not only a link, but an entire explanation of how VW got the scoop – the whole paragraph was removed.

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Rob Hyndman November 21, 2006 at 11:24

Thanks for the comment, Pete – I hadn’t noticed that.

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Pete November 21, 2006 at 10:18

Valleywag got the scoop. I seem to remember that the original Techcrunch story credited Valleywag, then the link was removed.

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Dave November 18, 2006 at 16:25

MyBlogLog is a goldmine. They have tons of incredibly valuable data. $10MM is NOT enough for this company. They should be looking for an acquisition of around $50MM in my humble opinion. These type of companys (MyBlogLog, InCircles.com etc) represent the future of the distributed app based social Internet – buying now is very smart -if I was MyBlogLog I would wait a year.

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Mathew Ingram November 17, 2006 at 18:51

Different newspapers and media outlets have different standards for how they report scoops, and whether they give credit or not. In most cases if it’s a direct competitor then a news outlet will often resort to the “reports say” construction — or “one newspaper is reporting” if they want to make it sound dubious.

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