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.

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