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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Blogger Uncovers Microsoft PR Gaffe? Not Really

Steve Rubel on WebProNews reports that the blogger who runs the PR India blog discovered a Microsoft press release replete with a screenshot of MSN Search in Firefox. Certainly an embarresing mistake, right? Of course, unless it never happened.

Today, I would like to hold a course in Blogging 101. The first rule of blogging is?
Link to your sources.
The second rule?
Link to your sources.
Sure, a bit Fight Club-ish, but it is the truth. By not linking to this supposed press release, PR India is practically putting up a big sign saying "This never happened". I know this. You know this. Steve know this. So why does this blog get any press over a screenshot of a website offered up with exactly zero proof? I have no idea.


Blogger Steve Rubel said...

Thanks for noticing. This article was actually pulled from my weblog without the link to the original source. If you read the original post on my weblog you will see where I source this.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Nathan Weinberg said...

Thanks for the info, Steve. Looking through the site, I found that the article that used the screenshot was located here. It is an AP review of MSN Search. After searching through MSN's search site and Microsoft's press pass site, I have not been able to find any such screenshot. My conclusion is that the AP article was posted with a random MSN Search image, and when the site editor was handed the image with no atribution, assumed it was a press kit image. Since the press kit contains no images with the search builder and a results view, the image is not from the press kit as implied by AP.

Where does all my circular logic wind up? That image was not released by MSN. AP must have screwed up, in the end. And PR India screwed up by not linking, else more people would have been able to refute the story before it spread.

2:17 AM  

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