Journabloggers Should Do Their Work Too

When I started blogging four and a half years ago, there was a clear delineation between bloggers and journalists. But that’s all changed and now we have this new category, the journablogger.

The journablogger has his or her own blog or works in a blog network like paid content, techcrunch, gigaom, alley insider, read write web, mashable, venturebeat, etc, etc. Just look at the top of techmeme’s leader board and you’ll see them right next to the traditional journalists like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNET, etc.

These journabloggers got their start as bloggers who operated outside of the traditional world of journalism where doing your homework and getting the story straight are requirements for the job. That was good. It allowed them to be quick, get the story out, and fill the blog with opinion.

But in the past week, I’ve seen two stories where it looked to me that the journablogger could have made the post a lot better with a bit more work.

The top story on techmeme right now is a Venturebeat post about a shopping search service called Like.com. It contains quotes like:

But suddenly, over four months, the company has tapped a robust number
of users, and it now expects to earn $10 million in revenue this year.

and

We’€™re killing them, he says, of social search engines (these include ThisNext, for example).

My friend Gordon Gould started and runs ThisNext (I am not an investor), so I figured I’d see if that was true. Here’s a comscore chart of traffic for the past year

This_next_like

It’s clear that Like.com had a great December but one month does not make a breakout. These two services have been neck and neck for the past year and Alexa still has ThisNext well ahead of Like.com. I think a little work on this story to dig into the claims of the Like.com CEO would have made it a better story.

Similary, this story by Erick at TechCrunch last week about Zynga and Social Gaming Network left me scratching my head. I talked to Erick about that story and he quoted me in it. Erick shared with me the line that the CEO of Social Gaming Network was giving him.  I suggested he go to adanomics and see the truth. Here’s the list of top facebook apps companies. Zynga is one of the top five app companies on Facebook and Social Gaming Network is number 33. If you include the acquisition of CLZ (number 30 – three ahead of Social Gaming Network), that Zynga announced last week, Zynga is almost an order of magnitude bigger than Social Gaming Network. But when you read Erick’s story, it’s like the two companies are neck and neck like Hillary and Obama.

Like.com may end up killing ThisNext and Social Gaming Network could end up being a real competitor to Zynga, but right now I don’t think either of those are true statements and a little work by the journabloggers could have surfaced that truth and made both stories better.